KADDISH – A Synopsis

The recitation of Kaddish is the holiest components of our prayer service. The holiness of the Kaddish surpasses that of every Kedusha in the prayer services. No fewer than seven Kaddeishim should be recited every day (the rest are customary), according to the verse “Seven times a day do I praise You” (Tehillim 119, 16). It is Chabad practice to recite 18 Kaddeishim daily. There are halachas governing one’s response to hearing the recitation of the Kaddish as well as the appropriate way to recite the Kaddish.

The person hearing Kaddish:

A Tzadik’s daily menu 1. Every individual should make a point of responding to at least 10 90 ‫ צ‬Amens Kaddeishim every day. 4 ‫ ד‬Kedushas 2. 10 adult men are required for the recitation of Kaddish. Therefore, one is 10 ‫ י‬Kaddeishim permitted to leave the minyan only if 10 men will remain present. 100 ‫ ק‬Blessings 3. It is sinful for one to depart when someone is saying Kaddish. 4. One should give care when responding to Kaddish. It is more of mitzvah to response to Kaddish than to respond to Kedusha. The mitzvah of Kaddish is to hear the “Yisgadal ...” and to answer “Amen, yehei shmei rabba ...” to that statement. Responding “Amen, yehi shemi rabba... is to be One must listen in order to focus on the phrase to done with ‫בכל כחו‬ which one is responding. The response should be 1) All of one’s attention and limbs should be in a loud voice, for this voice shatters all the focused to the response not just one’s lips 2) Focus on G-d who has the ability to accusing forces and nullifies all the harsh decrees. provide all of His powers Nevertheless, one should not respond too loudly lest people make light of the matter. 5. People who converse during the recitation of Kaddish should be rebuked, even if ten other congregants are paying attention.

The person reciting Kaddish:
1. 2. 3. 4. One says Kaddish while standing, positioning one’s feet similar to the Amidah. One says the Kaddish with intention and meditation and concern about the Galus. When many are reciting the Kaddish, it is optimal for all to say it together. It is customary for one to bow five times while reciting the Kaddish. The Chabad custom is seven times: a. at sh'mei rabbah; b. at vikareiv mishichei; c. at v'imru amein, after which one momentarily raises the head; d. at y'hei shemei Rabbah... yisboreich, after which one again stands erect before bowing the head slightly at e. v'yishtabach... v'yishalel, after which one stands erect once more before bowing the head f. at sh'mei d'kudsha brich hu; g. and again at v'imru amein. When saying v'imru amein at the end of the sentence in Kaddish Tiskabel that begins with the word tiskabeil, the head is lowered only slightly 5. At the end of the Kaddish it is customary for one to take three steps back, then say Oseh Shalom as is done at the conclusion of the Amidah. Chabad custom is different as one inclines one’s head as follows: a. to the right as one says oseh shalom bimromav; b. straight ahead as one says hu; c. to the left as one says ya'aseh shalom aleinu; and d. again straight ahead as one says v'al kol yisroel v'imru amein However, since the Complete Kaddish (Tiskabel) is connected to the Amidah, at Oseh Shalom, one does left, center, right, center.