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. 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. Kaddish cannot be recited alone. Along with some prayers, it can only be recited with a minyan of ten Jews.
History and background
"The Kaddish is in origin a closing doxology to an Aggadic discourse." 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.
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").
The various versions of the Kaddish are:
- Hatzi Kaddish (חצי קדיש) or Kaddish Le'ela (קדיש לעלא)Template:Spaced ndashLiterally "Half Kaddish", sometimes called the "Reader's Kaddish"
- Kaddish Yatom (קדיש יתום) or Kaddish Yehe Shelama Rabba (קדיש יהא שלמא רבא)Template:Spaced ndashLiterally "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)Template:Spaced ndashLiterally "Complete Kaddish" or "Whole Kaddish"
- Kaddish d'Rabbanan (קדיש דרבנן) or Kaddish al Yisrael (קדיש על ישראל)Template:Spaced ndashLiterally "Kaddish of the Rabbis"
- Kaddish ahar Hakk'vura (קדיש אחר הקבורה)Template:Spaced ndashLiterally "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)Template:Spaced ndashLiterally "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". 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
|| May His great name be exalted and sanctifiedb is G-d's great name.a
|| Yitgaddal veyitqaddash shmeh rabba
|| יִתְגַּדַּל וְיִתְקַדַּשׁ שְׁמֵהּ רַבָּא.
|| in the world which He created according to His will!
|| Beʻalma di vra khir'uteh
|| בְּעָלְמָא דִּי בְרָא כִרְעוּתֵהּ
|| May He establish His kingdom
|| veyamlikh malkhuteh
|| וְיַמְלִיךְ מַלְכוּתֵהּ
|| and may His salvation blossom and His anointed be near.ad
|| [veyatzmaḥ purqaneh viqarev (qetz) meshiḥeh]
|| וְיַצְמַח פֻּרְקָנֵהּ וִיקָרֵב(קיץ) מְשִׁיחֵהּ
|| during your lifetime and during your days
|| beḥayekhon uvyomekhon
|| בְּחַיֵּיכוֹן וּבְיוֹמֵיכוֹן
|| and during the lifetimes of all the House of Israel,
|| uvḥaye dekhol bet yisrael
|| וּבְחַיֵּי דְכָל בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל
|| 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:
|| May His great name be blessed
|| yehe shmeh rabba mevarakh
|| יְהֵא שְׁמֵהּ רַבָּא מְבָרַךְ
|| for ever, and to all eternity!
|| leʻalam ulʻalme ʻalmaya
|| לְעָלַם וּלְעָלְמֵי עָלְמַיָּא
|| Blessed and praised, glorified and exalted,
|| Yitbarakh veyishtabbaḥ veyitpaar veyitromam
|| יִתְבָּרַךְ וְיִשְׁתַּבַּח וְיִתְפָּאַר וְיִתְרוֹמַם
|| extolled and honoured, adored and lauded
|| veyitnasse veyithaddar veyitʻalleh veyithallal
|| וְיִתְנַשֵּׂא וְיִתְהַדָּר וְיִתְעַלֶּה וְיִתְהַלָּל
|| be the name of the Holy One, blessed be He,a
|| shmeh dequdsha berikh hu.
|| שְׁמֵהּ דְקֻדְשָׁא בְּרִיךְ הוּא.
|| above and beyond all the blessings,
|| leʻella (lʻella mikkol) min kol birkhata
|| לְעֵלָּא (לְעֵלָּא מִכָּל) מִן כָּל בִּרְכָתָא
|| hymns, praises and consolations
|| veshirata tushbeḥata veneḥemata
|| וְשִׁירָתָא תֻּשְׁבְּחָתָא וְנֶחֱמָתָא
|| 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:
|| eMay the prayers and supplications
|| Titqabbal tzelotehon uvaʻutehon
|| תִּתְקַבַּל צְלוֹתְהוֹן וּבָעוּתְהוֹן
|| of all Israel
|| d'khol bet yisrael
|| דְכָל בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל
|| 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:
|| To Israel, to the Rabbis and their disciples
|| ʻal yisrael veʻal rabbanan veʻal talmidehon
|| עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל וְעַל רַבָּנָן וְעַל תַּלְמִידֵיהוֹן
|| to the disciples of their disciples,
|| v'ʻal kol talmidey talmidehon
|| וְעַל כָּל תַּלְמִידֵי תַלְמִידֵיהוֹן.
|| and to all those who engage in the study of the Torah
|| veʻal kol man deʻos'qin b'orayta
|| וְעַל כָּל מָאן דְּעָסְקִין בְּאוֹרַיְתָא.
|| 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.
|| may there come abundant peace,
|| y'he lehon ul'khon sh'lama rabba
|| יְהֵא לְהוֹן וּלְכוֹן שְׁלָמָא רַבָּא
|| grace, lovingkindness and compassion, long life
|| hinna v'ḥisda v'raḥamey v'ḥayye arikhe
|| חִנָּא וְחִסְדָּא וְרַחֲמֵי וְחַיֵּי אֲרִיכֵי
|| ample sustenance and salvation
|| um'zone r'viḥe ufurqana
|| וּמְזוֹנֵי רְוִיחֵי וּפוְּרְקָנָא
|| from the Father who is in heaven (and earth);
|| min qodam avuhon di vishmayya [v'ʼarʻa]e
|| מִן קֳדָם אֲבוּהוּן דְבִשְׁמַיָּא [וְאַרְעָא]
|| and say, Amen.a
|| v'ʼimru amen
|| וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן
| All variants but the half kaddish conclude:
|| fMay there be abundant peace from heaven,
|| Yehe shelama rabba min shemayya
|| יְהֵא שְׁלָמָה רַבָּא מִן שְׁמַיָּא,
|| [and] [good] life
|| [ve]hayyim [tovim]
|| [וְ]חַיִּים [טוֹבִים]
|| satisfaction, help, comfort, refuge,
|| vesava vishuʻa veneḥama veshezava
|| וְשָֹבָע וִישׁוּעָה וְנֶחָמָה וְשֵׁיזָבָה
|| healing, redemption, forgiveness, atonement,
|| urfuʼa ugʼulla usliha v'khappara
|| וּרְפוּאָה וּגְאֻלָּה וּסְלִיחָה וְכַפָּרָה,
|| relief and salvationd
|| verevaḥ vehatzala
|| וְרֵוַח וְהַצָּלָה
|| 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.
|| fMay He who makes peace in His high places
|| ʻoseh shalom bimromav
|| עוֹשֶֹה שָׁלוֹם בִּמְרוֹמָיו,
|| grant [in his mercy]g peace upon us
|| hu [berakhamav] yaʻase shalom ʻalenu
|| הוּא [בְּרַחֲמָיו] יַעֲשֶֹה שָׁלוֹם עָלֵינוּ,
|| 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
|| In the world which will be renewed
|| B'ʻal'ma d'hu ʻatid l'ithaddata
|| בְּעָלְמָא דְהוּא עָתִיד לְאִתְחַדָּתָא
|| and where He will give life to the dead
|| ulʼaḥaya metaya
|| וּלְאַחֲיָאָה מֵתַיָא
|| and raise them to eternal life
|| ulʼassaqa yathon l'ḥayye ʻal'ma
|| וּלְאַסָּקָא יָתְהוֹן לְחַיֵּי עָלְמָא
|| and rebuild the city of Jerusalem
|| ul'mivne qarta dirush'lem
|| וּלְמִבְנֵא קַרְתָּא דִירוּשְׁלֵם
|| and complete His temple there
|| uleshakhlala hekhlehh b'gavvah
|| וּלְשַׁכְלָלָא הֵיכְלֵהּ בְּגַוַּהּ
|| and uproot foreign worship from the earth
|| ulmeʻqar pulḥana nukhraʼa m'arʻa
|| וּלְמֶעְקַר פֻּלְחָנָא נֻכְרָאָה מְאַרְעָא
|| and restore Heavenly worship to its position
|| v'laʼatava pulḥana dishmayya l'ʼatreh
|| וּלַאֲתָבָא פֻּלְחָנָא דִשְׁמַיָּא לְאַתְרֵהּ
|| and may the Holy One, blessed is He,
|| v'yamlikh qudsha b'rikh hu
|| וְיַמְלִיךְ קֻדְשָׁא בְּרִיךְ הוּא
|| reign in His sovereign splendour ...
|| b'malkhuteh viqareh
|| בְּמַלְכוּתֵהּ וִיקָרֵהּ