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Kaddish (קדיש, Qaddish Aramaic: "holy"; alternative spellings: qaddish, ḳaddish) is a hymn of praises to God found in the Jewish prayer service. The central theme of the Kaddish is the magnification and sanctification of God's name. In the liturgy different versions of the Kaddish are used functionally as separators between sections of the service.

The term "Kaddish" is often used to refer specifically to "The Mourner's Kaddish", said as part of the mourning rituals in Judaism in all prayer services, as well as at funerals (other than at the grave site - see below Kaddish ahar Hakk'vurah) and memorials. When mention is made of "saying Kaddish", this unambiguously refers to the rituals of mourning. Mourners say Kaddish to show that despite the loss they still praise God.

The opening words of this prayer are inspired by Ezekiel 38:23, a vision of God becoming great in the eyes of all the nations. The central line of the Kaddish in Jewish tradition is the congregation's response: יְהֵא שְׁמֵהּ רַבָּא מְבָרַךְ לְעָלַם וּלְעָלְמֵי עָלְמַיָּא (Yehei shmëh rabba mevarakh lealam ulalmey almaya, "May His great name be blessed for ever, and to all eternity"), a public declaration of God's greatness and eternality.[1] This response is an Aramaic translation of the Hebrew "ברוך שם כבוד מלכותו לעולם ועד" (Blessed be His name, whose glorious kingdom is forever), which is to be found in the Jerusalem Targum (יְהֵא שְׁמֵיהּ רַבָּא מְבָרֵךְ לְעָלְמֵי עַלְמִין) (Genesis 49:2 and Deuteronomy 6:4), and is similar to the wording of Daniel 2:20.

The Mourner's, Rabbi's and Complete Kaddish end with a supplication for peace ("Oseh Shalom..."), which is in Hebrew, and is somewhat similar to the Bible Job 25:2.

Along with the Shema and Amidah, the Kaddish is one of the most important and central elements in the Jewish liturgy.


  • History and background 1
  • Variant forms 2
  • Text of the Kaddish 3
    • Text of the Burial Kaddish 3.1
    • Notes 3.2
  • Customs 4
  • Mourner's Kaddish 5
  • Use of the Kaddish in the arts 6
    • In literature and publications 6.1
    • In music 6.2
    • Online 6.3
    • Onscreen, in film 6.4
    • Onscreen, in television 6.5
    • Onstage, in dance, theater and musicals 6.6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

History and background

"The Kaddish is in origin a closing doxology to an Aggadic discourse."[2] Most of it is written in Aramaic, which, at the time of its original composition, was the lingua franca of the Jewish people. It is not composed in the vernacular Aramaic, however, but rather in a "literary, jargon Aramaic" that was used in the academies, and is identical to the dialect of the Targum.[2]

The oldest version of the Kaddish is found in the Siddur of Rab Amram Gaon, c. 900. Shira Schoenberg observes that "The first mention of mourners saying Kaddish at the end of the service is in a 13th century halakhic writing by Isaac ben Moses of Vienna, the Or Zarua (literally "Light is Sown"). The Kaddish at the end of the service became designated as Kaddish Yatom or Mourner's Kaddish (literally, "Orphan's Kaddish").[1]

Variant forms

The various versions of the Kaddish are:

  • Hatzi Kaddish (חצי קדיש) or Kaddish Le'ela (קדיש לעלא) – Literally "Half Kaddish", sometimes called the "Reader's Kaddish"
  • Kaddish Yatom (קדיש יתום) or Kaddish Yehe Shelama Rabba (קדיש יהא שלמא רבא) – Literally "Orphan's Kaddish", although commonly referred to as Kaddish Avelim (קדיש אבלים), the "Mourner's Kaddish"
  • Kaddish Shalem (קדיש שלם) or Kaddish Titkabbal (קדיש תתקבל) – Literally "Complete Kaddish" or "Whole Kaddish"
  • Kaddish d'Rabbanan (קדיש דרבנן) or Kaddish al Yisrael (קדיש על ישראל) – Literally "Kaddish of the Rabbis"
  • Kaddish ahar Hakk'vura (קדיש אחר הקבורה) – Literally "Kaddish after a Burial", also called Kaddish d'Ithadata (קדיש דאתחדתא) named after one of the first distinguishing words in this variant.
  • Kaddish ahar Hashlamas Masechta (קדיש אחר השלמת מסכת) – Literally "Kaddish after the completion of a tractate," i.e. at a siyum (for Sefardim same as Kaddish d'Rabbanan"), also called Kaddish haGadol (קדיש הגדול) literally, the Great Kaddish as it is the longest Kaddish.

All versions of the Kaddish begin with the Hatzi Kaddish (there are some extra passages in the Kaddish after a burial or a siyum). The longer versions contain additional paragraphs, and are often named after distinctive words in those paragraphs.

The Half Kaddish is used to punctuate divisions within the service: for example, before Barechu, between the Shema and the Amidah and following readings from the Torah. The Kaddish d'Rabbanan is used after any part of the service that includes extracts from the Mishnah or the Talmud, as its original purpose was to close a study session. Kaddish Titkabbal originally marked the end of the service, though in later times extra passages and hymns were added to follow it.

The Jewish Encyclopedia's article on Kaddish mentions an additional type of Kaddish, called "Kaddish Yahid", or "Individual's Kaddish".[1] This is included in the Siddur of Amram Gaon, but is a meditation taking the place of Kaddish rather than a Kaddish in the normal sense.

Text of the Kaddish

The following includes the half, complete, mourner's and rabbi's kaddish. The variant lines of the kaddish after a burial or a siyum are given below.

# English translation Transliteration Hebrew
1 May His great name be exalted and sanctifiedb is G-d's great name.a Yitgaddal veyitqaddash shmeh rabba יִתְגַּדַּל וְיִתְקַדַּשׁ שְׁמֵהּ רַבָּא.
2 in the world which He created according to His will! Beʻalma di vra khir'uteh בְּעָלְמָא דִּי בְרָא כִרְעוּתֵהּ
3 May He establish His kingdom veyamlikh malkhuteh וְיַמְלִיךְ מַלְכוּתֵהּ
4 and may His salvation blossom and His anointed be [veyatzmaḥ purqaneh viqarev (qetz) meshiḥeh] וְיַצְמַח פֻּרְקָנֵהּ וִיקָרֵב(קיץ) מְשִׁיחֵהּ
5 during your lifetime and during your days beḥayekhon uvyomekhon בְּחַיֵּיכוֹן וּבְיוֹמֵיכוֹן
6 and during the lifetimes of all the House of Israel, uvḥaye dekhol bet yisrael וּבְחַיֵּי דְכָל בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל
7 speedily and very soon! And say, Amen.a beʻagala uvizman qariv veʼimru amen בַּעֲגָלָא וּבִזְמַן קָרִיב. וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן
The next two lines are recited by the congregation and then the leader:
8 May His great name be blessed yehe shmeh rabba mevarakh יְהֵא שְׁמֵהּ רַבָּא מְבָרַךְ
9 for ever, and to all eternity! leʻalam ulʻalme ʻalmaya לְעָלַם וּלְעָלְמֵי עָלְמַיָּא
10 Blessed and praised, glorified and exalted, Yitbarakh veyishtabbaḥ veyitpaar veyitromam יִתְבָּרַךְ וְיִשְׁתַּבַּח וְיִתְפָּאַר וְיִתְרוֹמַם
11 extolled and honoured, adored and lauded veyitnasse veyithaddar veyitʻalleh veyithallal וְיִתְנַשֵּׂא וְיִתְהַדָּר וְיִתְעַלֶּה וְיִתְהַלָּל
12 be the name of the Holy One, blessed be He,a shmeh dequdsha berikh hu. שְׁמֵהּ דְקֻדְשָׁא בְּרִיךְ הוּא.
13 above and beyond all the blessings, leʻella (lʻella mikkol) min kol birkhata לְעֵלָּא (לְעֵלָּא מִכָּל) מִן כָּל בִּרְכָתָא
14 hymns, praises and consolations veshirata tushbeḥata veneḥemata וְשִׁירָתָא תֻּשְׁבְּחָתָא וְנֶחֱמָתָא
15 that are uttered in the world! And say, Amen.a daamiran beʻalma veʼimru amen דַּאֲמִירָן בְּעָלְמָא. וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן
The half kaddish ends here.
Here the "complete kaddish" includes:
16 eMay the prayers and supplications Titqabbal tzelotehon uvaʻutehon תִּתְקַבַּל צְלוֹתְהוֹן וּבָעוּתְהוֹן
17 of all Israel d'khol bet yisrael דְכָל בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל
18 be accepted by their Father who is in Heaven; And say, Amen.a qodam avuhon di bishmayya, vʼimru amen קֳדָם אֲבוּהוֹן דִּי בִשְׁמַיָּא וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן
Here the "kaddish of the rabbis" (including the kaddish after a siyum) includes:
19 To Israel, to the Rabbis and their disciples ʻal yisrael veʻal rabbanan veʻal talmidehon עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל וְעַל רַבָּנָן וְעַל תַּלְמִידֵיהוֹן
20 to the disciples of their disciples, v'ʻal kol talmidey talmidehon וְעַל כָּל תַּלְמִידֵי תַלְמִידֵיהוֹן.
21 and to all those who engage in the study of the Torah veʻal kol man deʻos'qin b'orayta וְעַל כָּל מָאן דְּעָסְקִין בְּאוֹרַיְתָא.
22 in this [holy]z place or in any other place, di b'atra [qadisha] haden vedi bekhol atar v'atar דִּי בְאַתְרָא [קַדִישָא] הָדֵין וְדִי בְּכָל אֲתַר וַאֲתַר.
23 may there come abundant peace, y'he lehon ul'khon sh'lama rabba יְהֵא לְהוֹן וּלְכוֹן שְׁלָמָא רַבָּא
24 grace, lovingkindness and compassion, long life hinna v'ḥisda v'raḥamey v'ḥayye arikhe חִנָּא וְחִסְדָּא וְרַחֲמֵי וְחַיֵּי אֲרִיכֵי
25 ample sustenance and salvation um'zone r'viḥe ufurqana וּמְזוֹנֵי רְוִיחֵי וּפוְּרְקָנָא
26 from the Father who is in heaven (and earth); min qodam avuhon di vishmayya [v'ʼarʻa]e מִן קֳדָם אֲבוּהוּן דְבִשְׁמַיָּא [וְאַרְעָא]
27 and say, Amen.a v'ʼimru amen וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן
All variants but the half kaddish conclude:
28 fMay there be abundant peace from heaven, Yehe shelama rabba min shemayya יְהֵא שְׁלָמָה רַבָּא מִן שְׁמַיָּא,
29 [and] [good] life [ve]hayyim [tovim] [וְ]חַיִּים [טוֹבִים]
30 satisfaction, help, comfort, refuge, vesava vishuʻa veneḥama veshezava וְשָֹבָע וִישׁוּעָה וְנֶחָמָה וְשֵׁיזָבָה
31 healing, redemption, forgiveness, atonement, urfuʼa ugʼulla usliha v'khappara וּרְפוּאָה וּגְאֻלָּה וּסְלִיחָה וְכַפָּרָה,
32 relief and salvationd verevaḥ vehatzala וְרֵוַח וְהַצָּלָה
33 for us and for all his people [upon us and upon all] Israel; and say, Amen.a lanu ulkhol ʻammo [ʻalainu v'al kol] yisrael v'ʼimru amen לָנוּ וּלְכָל עַמּוֹ [עׇלֵינוּ וְעַל כׇּל] יִשְֹרָאֵל וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן.
34 fMay He who makes peace in His high places ʻoseh shalom bimromav עוֹשֶֹה שָׁלוֹם בִּמְרוֹמָיו,
35 grant [in his mercy]g peace upon us hu [berakhamav] yaʻase shalom ʻalenu הוּא [בְּרַחֲמָיו] יַעֲשֶֹה שָׁלוֹם עָלֵינוּ,
36 and upon all [his nation]h Israel; and say, Amen.a v'ʻal kol [ammo] yisra'el, v'ʼimru amen וְעַל כָּל [עַמּוֹ] יִשְֹרָאֵל וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן.

Text of the Burial Kaddish

In the burial kaddish, and that after a siyum according to Ashkenazim,i, lines 2-3 are replaced by:

# English translation Transcription Aramaic
37 In the world which will be renewed B'ʻal'ma d'hu ʻatid l'ithaddata בְּעָלְמָא דְהוּא עָתִיד לְאִתְחַדָּתָא
38 and where He will give life to the dead ulʼaḥaya metaya וּלְאַחֲיָאָה מֵתַיָא
39 and raise them to eternal life ulʼassaqa yathon l'ḥayye ʻal'ma וּלְאַסָּקָא יָתְהוֹן לְחַיֵּי עָלְמָא
40 and rebuild the city of Jerusalem ul'mivne qarta dirush'lem וּלְמִבְנֵא קַרְתָּא דִירוּשְׁלֵם
41 and complete His temple there uleshakhlala hekhlehh b'gavvah וּלְשַׁכְלָלָא הֵיכְלֵהּ בְּגַוַּהּ
42 and uproot foreign worship from the earth ulmeʻqar pulḥana nukhraʼa m'arʻa וּלְמֶעְקַר פֻּלְחָנָא נֻכְרָאָה מְאַרְעָא
43 and restore Heavenly worship to its position v'laʼatava pulḥana dishmayya l'ʼatreh וּלַאֲתָבָא פֻּלְחָנָא דִשְׁמַיָּא לְאַתְרֵהּ
44 and may the Holy One, blessed is He, v'yamlikh qudsha b'rikh hu וְיַמְלִיךְ קֻדְשָׁא בְּרִיךְ הוּא
45 reign in His sovereign splendour ... b'malkhuteh viqareh בְּמַלְכוּתֵהּ וִיקָרֵהּ


  • Bracketed text varies according to personal or communal traditions.
  • (a) The congregation responds with "amen" (אָמֵן) after lines 1, 4, 7, 12, 15, 18, 27, 33, 36. In the Ashkenazi tradition, the response to line 12 is "Blessed be he" (בְּרִיךְ הוּא b'rikh hu).
  • (b) On line 1, some say Yitgaddeyl veyitqaddeysh rather than Yitgaddal veyitqaddash, because the roots of these two words are Hebrew and not Aramaic (the Aramaic equivalent would be Yitrabay veyitkadash), some authorities (but not others) felt that both words should be rendered in pure Hebrew pronunciation.[3]
  • (c) Line 13: in the Ashkenazi tradition the repeated "le'ela" is used only during the Ten Days of Repentance. In the Sephardi tradition it is never used. In the Yemenite tradition it is the invariable wording. The phrase "le'ela le'ela" is the Targum's translation of the Hebrew "ma'la ma'la" (Deuteronomy 28:43).
  • (d) Lines 4 and 30-32 are not present in the Ashkenazi tradition. "Revaḥ vehatzala" is said aloud by the congregation.
  • (e) Line 26: some Sephardi Jews say malka [or maram or mareh] di-shmaya ve-ar'a (the King [or Master] of Heaven and Earth) instead of avuhon de-vi-shmaya (their Father in Heaven); De Sola Pool uses mara; the London Spanish and Portuguese Jews use the same text as the Ashkenazim.[4]
  • (f) During the "complete kaddish" some include the following congregational responses, which are not regarded as part of the text:
    • Before line 16, "accept our prayer with mercy and favour"
    • Before line 28, "May the name of God be blessed, from now and forever" (Psalms 113:2)
    • Before line 34, "My help is from God, creator of heaven and earth" (Psalms 121:2)
  • (g) Line 35: "b'rahamav" is used by Sephardim in all versions of kaddish; by Ashkenazim only in "Kaddish deRabbanan".
  • (h) Line 36: "ammo" is used by most Sephardim, but not by some of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews or Ashkenazim.
  • (i) Lines 37 to 45: these lines are also recited by Yemenite Jews as part of every Kaddish DeRabbanan.
  • (z) In line 22, the bracketed word is added in the Land of Israel.
  • In line 1, as noted in (a), the congregation responds "Amen", even though this commonly is not printed in most prayerbooks. This longstanding and widespread tradition actually introduces a break in the verse which may lead to misinterpretation as the phrase "according to His will" would then appear to apply only to "which he created" instead of to "Magnified and sanctified".[5]
  • It is common that the entire congregation recites lines 8 and 9 with the leader, and it is also common that the congregation will include in its collective recitation the first word of the next line (line 10), Yitbarakh. This is commonly thought to be done to prevent any interruption before the next line (which begins with Yitbarakh) is recited by the leader. But this inclusion of Yitbarakh has not always been the case. Maimonides and the Tur did not include it in the congregation's recitation; Amram Gaon, the Vilna Gaon, and the Shulchan Aruch include it.[6]

Full Hebrew, translation and transliteration can also be found at the Orthodox Union.[7]


The Kaddish, as used in the services on special days is chanted. There are different melodies in different Jewish traditions and within each tradition the melody can change according to the version, the day it is said and even the position in the service; many mourners recite it slowly and contemplatively.

  • Virtual Cantor's Kaddish Shalem for Shabbat Mussaf
  • Virtual Cantor's Hatzi Kaddish for Yom Kippur

In Sephardi synagogues the whole congregation sits for Kaddish, except:

  • during the Kaddish immediately before the Amidah, where everyone stands;
  • during the Mourner's Kaddish, where those reciting it stand and everyone else sits.

In Ashkenazi synagogues, the custom varies. Very commonly, in both Orthodox and Reform congregations, everyone stands; but in some (especially many Conservative and Hasidic) synagogues, most of the congregants sit. Sometimes, a distinction is made between the different forms of Kaddish, or each congregant stands or sits according to his or her own custom. The Mourner's Kaddish is often treated differently from the other variations of Kaddish in the service, as is the Half Kaddish before the maftir.

Those standing to recite the Kaddish bow, by widespread tradition, at various places. Generally: At the first word of the prayer, at each Amen, at Yitbarakh, at Brikh hu, and for the last verse (Oseh shalom). For Oseh shalom it is customary take three steps back (if possible) then bow to one's left, then to one's right, and finally bow forward, as if taking leave of the presence of a king, in the same way as when the same words are used as the concluding line of the Amidah.[8]

Mourner's Kaddish

"Mourner's Kaddish"[9] is said at all prayer services and certain other occasions. It is written in Aramaic.[10] It takes the form of Kaddish Yehe Shelama Rabba, and is traditionally recited several times, most prominently at or towards the end of the service, after the Aleinu and/or closing Psalms and/or (on the Sabbath) Ani'im Zemirot. Following the death of a parent, child, spouse, or sibling it is customary to recite the Mourner's Kaddish in the presence of a congregation daily for thirty days, or eleven months in the case of a parent, and then at every anniversary of the death.[11] The "mourner" who says the Kaddish will be any person present at a service who has the obligation to recite Kaddish in accordance with these rules.

Customs for reciting the Mourner's Kaddish vary markedly among various communities. In Sephardi synagogues, the custom is that all the mourners stand and chant the Kaddish together. In Ashkenazi synagogues, the earlier custom was that one mourner be chosen to lead the prayer on behalf of the rest, though most congregations have now adopted the Sephardi custom. In many Reform synagogues, the entire congregation recites the Mourner's Kaddish together. This is sometimes said to be for those victims of the Holocaust who have no one left to recite the Mourner's Kaddish on their behalf. In some congregations (especially Reform and Conservative ones), the Rabbi will read a list of the deceased who have a Yahrzeit on that day (or who have died within the past month), and then ask the congregants to name any people they are mourning for. Some synagogues try to multiply the number of times that the Mourner's Kaddish is recited, for example, reciting a separate Mourner's Kaddish after both Aleinu and then each closing Psalm. Other synagogues limit themselves to one Mourner's Kaddish at the end of the service.

Saying the Mourner's Kaddish was mostly prohibited for Orthodox Jewish women, but is now becoming more common.[12] In 2013 the Israeli Orthodox rabbinical organization Beit Hillel issued a halachic ruling which allows women, for the first time, to say the Kaddish in memory of their deceased parents.[13] Ephraim Mirvis, an Orthodox rabbi who serves as the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, supports Orthodox women saying Kaddish. [14]

It is important to note that the Mourner's Kaddish does not mention death at all, but instead praises God. Though the Kaddish is often popularly referred to as the "Jewish Prayer for the Dead," that designation more accurately belongs to the prayer called "El male rachamim", which specifically prays for the soul of the deceased.

Use of the Kaddish in the arts

The Kaddish has been a particularly common theme and reference point in the arts, including the following:

In literature and publications

(Alphabetical by author)

  • In Shai Afsai’s “The Kaddish,” a poignant short story that could happen in almost any town with a small Jewish community, a group of elderly men trying to form a minyan in order to recite the Kaddish confront the differences between Judaism’s denominations.[15]
  • Kaddish is a poem, divided into 21 sections and of almost 700 pages length, by German poet Paulus Böhmer. The first ten sections appeared in 2002, the remaining eleven in 2007. It celebrates the world, through mourning its demise.
  • Kaddish in Dublin (1990) crime novel by John Brady where an Irish Jew is involved with a plot to subvert the Irish government.
  • In Torch Song Trilogy (1982), written by Harvey Fierstein, the main character Arnold Beckoff says the Mourner's Kaddish for his murdered lover, Alan, much to the horror of his mother.
  • In Frederick Forsyth's novel The Odessa File, a Jew who commits suicide in 1960s Germany requests in his diary/suicide note that someone say Kaddish for him in Israel. At the end of the novel, a Mossad agent involved in the plot, who comes into possession of the diary, fulfils the dead man's wish.
  • Kaddish is one of the most celebrated poems by the beat poet Allen Ginsberg. It appeared in Kaddish and Other Poems, a collection he published in 1961. The poem was dedicated to his mother, Naomi Ginsberg (1894–1956).
  • Kaddish (book), a novel by Ka-Tzetnik 135633
  • Kaddish for an Unborn Child is a novel by the Hungarian Nobel Laureate Imre Kertesz.
  • "Who Will Say Kaddish?: A Search for Jewish Identity in Contemporary Poland," text by Larry N Mayer with photographs by Gary Gelb (Syracuse University Press, 2002)
  • In the September 20, 1998 Nickolodeon's Rugrats comic strip, the character Grandpa Boris recites the Mourner's Kaddish in the synagogue. This particular strip led to controversy with the Anti-Defamation League.[16]
  • The Mystery of Kaddish. Rav "DovBer Pinson". Explains and explores the Kabbalistic and deeper meaning of the Kaddish.
  • In Philip Roth's novel The Human Stain, the narrator states that the Mourner's Kaddish signifies that "a Jew is dead. Another Jew is dead. As though death were not a consequence of life but a consequence of having been a Jew."
  • Zadie Smith's novel, The Autograph Man, revolves around Alex-Li Tandem, a dealer in autograph memorabilia whose father's Yahrzeit is approaching. The epilogue of the novel features a scene in which Alex-Li recites Kaddish with a minyan.
  • Several references to the Mourner's Kaddish are made in Night by Elie Wiesel. Though the prayer is never directly said, references to it are common, including to times when it is customarily recited, but omitted.
  • Leon Wieseltier's Kaddish (1998) is a book length hybrid of memoirs (of the author's year of mourning after the death of his father), history, historiography and philosophical reflection, all centered on the mourner's Kaddish.

In music

(Alphabetical by creator)

  • Kaddish is the name of Symphony No. 3 by Leonard Bernstein, a dramatic work for orchestra, mixed chorus, boys' choir, speaker and soprano solo dedicated to the memory of John F. Kennedy who was assassinated on November 22, 1963, just weeks before the first performance of this symphony. The symphony is centered around the Kaddish text.
  • The Kaddish is spoken in Part V of the Avodath Hakodesh (Sacred Service) by the composer Ernest Bloch (1933).
  • Kaddish is a work for cello and orchestra by David Diamond.
  • Kaddish is the title for a work by W. Francis McBeth for a concert band, based on the chant of the prayer. McBeth composed this work as a memorial for his teacher J. Clifton Williams.[17]
  • Kaddish is a track by Gina X Performance
  • The French composer Maurice Ravel composed a (piano and violin) song using part of the Kaddish. It was commissioned in 1914 by Alvina Alvi as part of a set of two songs: "Deux mélodies hébraïques" and was first performed in June 1914 by Alvi with Ravel at the piano.Deux mélodies hébraïques
  • Kaddish Shalem is a musical work by Salamone Rossi (1570-c.1628), composed for five voices in homophonic style, the very first polyphonic setting of this text, in his "Hashirim Asher L'Shomo", The Song of Solomon.
  • Inspired by Kaddish is a fifteen-movement musical composition by Lawrence Siegel. One of the movements is the prayer itself; the remaining fourteen are stories of the experiences of a number of Holocaust survivors Lawrence interviewed. It was debuted by the Keene State College Chamber Singers in 2008.[18]
  • Mieczysław Weinberg's Symphony No. 21 is subtitled "Kaddish". The symphony, composed in 1991, is dedicated to Holocaust victims from the Warsaw Ghetto.[19]
  • Concept album Kaddish (1993) created by Richard Wolfson (musician) with Andy Saunders using the band name Towering Inferno.


  • Mira Z. Amiras and Erin L. Vang have taken the Kaddish as a starting point for a yearlong collaboration titled, "Kaddish in Two-Part Harmony", consisting of a jointly written written blog and daily podcast recording of Lev Kogan's "Kaddish" for solo horn.[20]

Onscreen, in film


  • In the 1973 film Les aventures de Rabbi Jacob (The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob), it is chanted at the end of the Bar-Mitzvah service.
  • In the film The Passover Plot (1976), a revived Jesus dies finally and is mourned with a Kaddish recitation by a disciple.
  • In the 1980 film The Jazz Singer starring Neil Diamond, character Cantor Rabinovitch (Laurence Olivier) says the Kaddish while disowning his son. The Kaddish helps bring forth the power needed to evoke the emotion of loss.
  • In Rocky III (1982), Rocky Balboa recites the Mourner's Kaddish for Mickey.
  • In Torch Song Trilogy (1982), Arnold says the Mourner's Kaddish for his murdered lover David, and Arnold's mother strongly protests.
  • In the film Yentl (1983), at Yentl's father's burial, the rabbi asks who will say Kaddish (Kaddish is traditionally said by a son). Yentl replies that she will and, to the horror of those assembled, grabs the siddur and starts saying Kaddish.
  • Film Saying the Kaddish (1999) by Dan Frazer
  • The Kaddish can be heard in the opening credits of the film Schindler's List (1993), and is recited in the last scene at the factory.

Onscreen, in television

(Alphabetical by program title)

  • In the television series Drawn Together, Toot Braunstein recites the Mourner's Kaddish in the episode "A Very Special Drawn Together Afterschool Special", after saying that her son was (metaphorically) dead.
  • In the television show Everwood, Ephram Brown recites the Mourner's Kaddish at his mother's unveiling.
  • In the second season finale of Homeland, The Choice, CIA agent Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) recites the Mourner's Kaddish while standing over the corpses of victims of a terrorist attack.
  • "Kaddish" is the title of Homicide: Life on the Street episode 5.17, in which detective John Munch (Richard Belzer), who is Jewish, investigates the rape and murder of his childhood sweetheart.
  • Kaddish For Uncle Manny",[21] episode 4.22 of Northern Exposure (first aired 5-3-93) relates to Joel's (Rob Morrow) seeking out of ten Jews in remote Alaska to join him for Kaddish in memory of his recently departed Uncle Manny in New York City. Joel eventually decides, though, that saying Kaddish for his uncle is best accomplished in the presence of his new Cicely family, who although Gentile, are most near and dear to him.
  • The fictional character Dan Turpin was killed by Darkseid in Superman: The Animated Series, and a Rabbi said Kadish at his funeral. An onscreen, post-episode message dedicated the episode to Jack Kirby, a Jewish comic book artist, who influenced much of the comic book community.
  • In the series Touched by an Angel, episode 3.5 (season 3, episode 5), Henry Moskowitz, a proud archaeologist on a dig at a Navajo excavation site, receives a surprise visit from zayda (grandfather). Sam hopes to reconcile with his grandson and Jewish family faith by asking him to say kaddish.[22]
  • "Kaddish" is the title of The X-Files episode 4.15 (season 4, episode 15), in which a Golem is avenging a murder.

Onstage, in dance, theater and musicals


  1. ^ a b c "". Retrieved 2011-12-20. 
  2. ^ a b Pool, D. de S., The Kaddish, Sivan Press, Ltd, Jerusalem, 1909, (3rd printing, 1964). (see David de Sola Pool)
  3. ^ Scherman, Nosson, The Kaddish Prayer: A new translation with a commentary anthologized from Talmudic, Midrashic and Rabbinic Sources (Brooklyn, Mesorah Publ'ns, 3rd ed. 1991) page 28; Nulman, Macy, The Encyclopedia of Jewish Prayer (Aronson, NJ, 1993) s.v. Kaddish, pages 185-186; see also the pointed Hebrew translations of the Kaddish in the Siddur Rinat Yisroel (Jerusalem, 1977) Ashkenaz ed. page 40, and in Rosenstein, Siddur Shirah Hadasha (Eshkol, Jerusalem, no date, reprinted circa 1945 - but original edition was 1914) page 38; Silverman, Morris, Comments on the Text of the Siddur, Journal of Jewish Music & Liturgy, vol. 2, nr. 1 (1977-78) page 21.
  4. ^ Silverman, Morris, Comments on the Text of the Siddur, Journal of Jewish Music & Liturgy, vol. 2, nr. 1 (1977-78) page 21.
  5. ^ Mishcon, A., Disputed Phrasings in the Siddur, Jewish Quarterly Review, vol. 7 n.s., nr. 4 (April 1917) page 545.
  6. ^ Mishcon, A., Disputed Phrasings in the Siddur, Jewish Quarterly Review, vol. 7 n.s., nr. 4 (April 1917) pages 545-546; Nulman, Macy, The Encyclopedia of Jewish Prayer (Aronson, NJ, 1993) s.v. Kaddish, page 186.
  7. ^ "". 2008-10-07. Retrieved 2011-12-20. 
  8. ^ H.D. Assaf, Kaddish: Its origins, meanings and laws (Maimonides Research Inst., Haifa, 1966) 2003 English ed. pages 228-233; M. Nulman, The Encyclopedia of Jewish Prayer (Aronson, NJ, 1993) page 186.
  9. ^ "Text of the Mourner's Kaddish in Hebrew, with English transliteration and translation". Retrieved 2011-12-20. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ "". Retrieved 2011-12-20. 
  12. ^
  13. ^,7340,L-4396702,00.html
  14. ^
  15. ^ Shai Afsai, “The Kaddish,” Jerusalem Post, Aug. 27, 2010.
  16. ^ Goldberg, Denny (January–February 1999). "The ADL vs. Superman". Tikkun Magazine (Berkeley, CA: Tikkun). 14(1) (5). Retrieved 29 May 2011. 
  17. ^ "". Retrieved 2011-12-20. 
  18. ^ "" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-12-20. 
  19. ^ Norris, Geoffrey. "Weinberg Symphony No 21 (review)". Gramophone Magazine. Retrieved 15 October 2014. 
  20. ^ "". Retrieved 2011-12-20. 
  21. ^ (2006-05-14). "". Retrieved 2011-12-20. 
  22. ^
  • Cyrus Adler, et al. "Kaddish". Jewish Encyclopedia, 1906. pp. 401–403.
  • Yesodot Tefillah, Rabbi Eliezer Levi, published by Abraham Zioni Publishing House,Israel 1977. P173
  • Kaddish is a female dance solo choreographed by Anna Sokolow to Maurice Ravel.
  • de Sola Pool, Kaddish (1909) [1]

External links

  • [2]
  • Kaddish explanation at the Jewish Virtual Library
  • Kaddish and Kabbalah
  • MP3 Audio of Kaddish Prayer
  • Virtual Cantor MP3s of all prayers said in the synagogue on weekdays and special days including numerous versions of the Kaddish
  • Kaddish explanation from Includes links for Ashkenazi and Sephardi versions
  • Kaddish Foundation a non-profit who recite the kaddish every day for eleven months following the death of a Jewish relative, loved-one or friend.
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