Friday, October 15, 2010

Promoting surrogate Kaddish services?

From JL:

I just picked up this week's issue of the AJN and felt uncomfortable seeing how the Yeshiva is promoting a "Kaddish Reciting Service".

Sure, I understand the need for this in a situation where the niftar doesn't have a male relative who can say Kaddish for him or her. But surely promoting such a service to all is only encouraging and giving comfort to individuals who, without it, would feel a religious and/or traditional obligation to attend Shul during the year of mourning or on a Yahrzeit but now find a "charitable" and respectable way of getting out of fulfilling a halachic requirement towards a parent or relative.

I think that the Rabbonim at the Yeshiva must reconsider whether encouraging Kaddish-by-proxy is appropriate. It wasn’t so long ago when most - even non-religious - Jews attended Shul daily during a time of mourning. I feel that it would be far more appropriate for the Yeshiva to be encouraging that practice to return.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to express my opinion, and I’d be happy to hear what others have to say about this.                                                                               John L


  1. B'H
    I am not so sure your concerns are justified in that this can be a great mitzva for those people who do not have someone to say Kaddish for them. Either there are no male relatives or other than that there are no religious male relatives or even relatives who want to say kaddish for the departed.
    We live in awkward times. I think that this is a great way to help others remember and reconnect.

  2. This is a perfectly traditional way for shuls and yeshivos to raise money. Just about every yeshiva/kollel in EY does so.

  3. If a son can say Kaddish, of course he should and should be encouraged to do so. However, if he doesn't go 3 times a day for 11 months, then it is a good idea for someone else to say Kaddish also. There is no conflict here. The important thing is for someone to say it preferably 3 times a day.


Comments will be moderated for language and content.
Please use your name/nickname - rather than 'anonymous'.