Summary of Traditional Observances Relating to the Kaddish
For whom Kaddish is recited
· Kaddish is recited for anyone for whom a mourner sits Shiva: a parent, child, sibling, and spouse. One may also elect to say Kaddish for other
relatives and even friends. It is customary not to say Kaddish for others while one’s parents are alive.
· Adopted children are encouraged to say Kaddish for adoptive parents, but are not required to do so.
· Most authorities agree that one need not heed the request of a parent that Kaddish not be said for him.
· The Kaddish may be recited at a public prayer service only if a minyan (religious quorum) is present.
For how long recited
· For parents, Kaddish is recited for eleven months, and for other relatives for thirty days.
· A mourner who does not learn of the death of a parent until long after the burial is obligated to recite Kaddish only until the end of the eleventh month
Women and Kaddish
· Although only sons are obligated to say Kaddish for parents, most authorities permit women to do so if they so wish.
Minors and Kaddish
· Boys under Bar Mitzva age are obligated to say Kaddish for parents. most authorities permit girls under Bat Mitzva age to do so if they wish.
Second death in a family
· If a mourner is saying Kaddish for a parent and another family member dies during those eleven months, the mourner says Kaddish for one additional
month (a total of twelve months).
Kaddish during High Holiday period
· The text of the Kaddish is slightly modified during the Days of Awe, the ten-day period from Rosh Hashana through Yom Kippur. *
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* all information was taken from The Jewish Mourner’s Book of Why by Alfred J. Kolatch