Maybe I Just Shouldn't Say Kaddish?

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  • #616285

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    I have, unfortunately, being saying Kaddish for my mother for the last six months. In the shul I daven at during the week, for most of that time, I am alone in saying Kaddish. My custom is to say Kaddish on the slower side, enunciating the words and concentrating on the meaning. (Yes, I’m aware of tircha d’tzibura. I don’t say it *that* slowly).

    On occassions when others are saying Kaddish with me, I adjust my speed to match theirs. Usually it’s a bit faster, but I can manage that, and so all is fine.

    However, lately, there are, unfortunately, a new group of aveilim who began saying kaddish this summer. When they say kaddish in the shul (there are there only on some days and only for Mincha/Maariv) they say it very fast. I’m barely able to keep up. I find myself not able to enunciate the words properly nor am I really able to concentrate on the meaning of the words, since I’m too busy just trying to keep up.

    As a result, the kaddish I recite is pretty much an “empty” kaddish. The words are hurried (sometimes even stumbled over) and saying without much, if any, meaning.

    I’m wondering if, under those circumstances, perhaps I’m just better off not saying it at all. I don’t see how it is of any praise to KHBH or of any benefit to the neshama of my mother to have such a kaddish said.

    The Wolf

    #1101265

    Moshe1994
    Participant

    Or you could be an “Alpha Wolf” and make them follow your pace, i.e saying Kaddish louder while not changing your speed.

    #1101267

    Zei Gezunt
    Member

    To the Wolf:

    My first time posting because I’ve been there before and I commiserate with you. Although you have a completely valid point, you’re in a very tough position, because refraining from reciting kaddish when one is obligated to do so appears to belittle one’s parent’s honor. Additionally, every effort should be made for the kaddish to be said in unison, even though the other mourners are showing a total disregard and disrespect to you by not slowing down to say it with you.

    I personally tried to say every kaddish with the tzibur even if it meant saying it a little faster and without concentration. There were some times when I would abstain when I sensed the kaddish would be said so fast that the words would be mangled. I don’t recall being in such situations often, but I do recall wishing in my heart (and maybe even praying) that the speedy readers not partake in my minyan. Wish I could give better advice.

    #1101268

    Dr Uri Bakay
    Member

    Why don’t you just daven in another minyan?

    #1101269

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Perhaps he can’t.

    As long as he’s not slow, I think he should say Kaddish at a normal pace and the other aveilim keep to his pace. This may be where the shul’s rav gets involved.

    #1101270

    yehudayona
    Participant

    This is more of a problem when the kaddish sayers are scattered all over the shul. If they all stand in the same area (like just behind the bimah), it’s easier for them to stay in sync. Also, if the shaliach tzibur is saying kaddish, he should set the pace and say it loudly enough that the other kaddish sayers can follow. When the shaliach tzibur isn’t saying kaddish, the loudest one tends to be the leader, so you need to be the loudest.

    #1101271

    Happy Go Lucky!!
    Participant

    I don’t know. Maybe I’m missing something. (OK, I KNOW I’M MISSING SOMETHING!!) Why can’t you go your pace and let them go their pace. That way there will be more Ameins to answer – more s’char. Maybe every place should do it like that – double the fun.

    #1101272

    ruvain
    Participant

    Either the Rav or someone in the shul should say something to the speedsters. In my congregation, my Rav tells people saying Kaddish to slow down if someone has Kaddish and davens not so fast as to not embarrass them and allow them to say a proper Kaddish.

    #1101273

    takahmamash
    Participant

    Wolf, I may have said this before, but I’m sorry for your loss.

    I usually tried to move near one or more of the other aveilim, so we could say Kaddish at the same pace. The other person, in the beginning, had a real problem saying it, so I made sure to go slowly enough so he could say the words.

    If anyone else wanted to say it faster, we let them, and just continued at our own speed. I think people understood what we were doing. I certainly never heard anyone complain that I said Kaddish too slowly. (The same, unfortunately, can not be said for times when I was shaliach tzibur – some complained I was too slow, others said I was too fast.)

    #1101274

    akuperma
    Participant

    If you are a regular at the shul, say the kaddish louder and force others to slow down – assuming the shul minhag is to daven slow. Don’t try this is your prefered shul is an “express minyan factory.” Are you also davening for the omedin which case you are setting the overall pace. If you are a non-member or visitor at the shul, tag along with the majority. Be happy you aren’t too “good” at saying kaddish since in the old days people tended to get more practice, and at an earlier age (back when most men ended up saying kaddish for their wives and children, and the siddurim typically indicated the time to say kaddish as “the na’ar says kaddish”).

    #1101275

    jewish source
    Participant

    I let the others be louder than me not trying to out do them be nichfaf to the others I felt that alone is an Aliya to the neshama that we love.

    #1101276

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    JS, that’s a wonderful perspective. Wolf’s issue is with pace, though.

    #1101277

    baruchderrin
    Participant

    Jewish source, im not sure but since its divre shebikdusha doesn’t Your kaddish have to actually be heard by a minyan in order for you to say it. I see this scenario a lot. on a side not (sorry to digress) i also see when birkat hagomel is made many say it in a whisper to the point that no one hears the bracha, which seems to be exactly the opposite of the point of making the bracha expressing our hakarat hatov to hashem in front of a minyan

    #1101278

    Sam2
    Participant

    Wolf: If it makes you feel better, realize that the Zechus to the Niftar from Kaddish has nothing to do with you understanding or meaning the words (that would be a Zechus to yourself). It comes from the Tzibbur’s answers of Amen and such. So it’s more important that they hear and answer you than for you to understand.

    #1101279

    jewish source
    Participant

    I did not say whisper I said be subservient. Many times I see it becomes a KOVOD war. Be machnia yourself nothing will happen you will be a happier person.

    #1101280

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    In previous generations, Only one person would say Kaddish in the entire shul. That all mourners say Kaddish is a very recent innovention

    #1101281

    feivel
    Participant

    If he isn’t able to think and feel what he is saying, then he is not praising Hashem. He is reciting words of praise. That’s something but not the same as being osaik in praising Him. I don’t believe the responses to words of praise are the same as responses to one who is standing and actually praising Hashem. Or so it seems to me.

    #1101282

    yehudayona
    Participant

    ZD, on my recent trip to Israel, that was the minhag in most or all of the shuls I davened in. It’s less common in the U.S. I know Breuer’s follows that minhag.

    #1101283

    Sam2
    Participant

    feivel: That’s why I made the Chiluk between meaning something to him and the Zchus to the Niftar. The Gemara (Tosefta?) says that the Zchus to the Niftar comes from other people answering Amen Yehei Shmei Rabbah-i.e. you are causing them to praise Hashem. So whether you are fully cognizant of those words or not should have no bearing on what it means to the people responding.

    #1101284

    feivel
    Participant

    Sam your Chiluk was clear. I stated that lchora the Chiluk may not be so definitive. There may be a difference in the impact of their responses depending on what exactly they are responding to

    I don’t believe the responses to words of praise are the same as responses to one who is standing and actually praising Hashem. Or so it seems to me.

    #1101285

    akuperma
    Participant

    zahavasdad: The minhag of having only one person say kaddish at a time was common – which led to rules as to who got which kaddish. It appears that the decline among Ashkenazim began in the mid 17th century (“Tach V’Tat”), and was largely done in by both the holocaust and the fact the East European Jews (from countries affected by Tach v’Tat) became the largest group of Ashkenazi whereas those form countries unaffected (in western Europe) declined demographically. The holocaust further undermined the custom. If you have all the mourners saying kaddish seperately, you might not have enough kaddishes in a all but the smallest shuls (even avoiding the days on which many people lost relatives at the same time).

    #1101286

    feivel
    Participant

    In other words I’m raising the possibility that the kavana of the responders is influenced by the kavana or lack of kavana of the reciter. I have no specific source for this but it doesn’t argue on your Gemorah, and it’s logical

    #1101287

    son
    Member
    #1101288

    Git Meshige
    Participant

    You know, I have a similar problem. The Shul where I daven, have some people who talk during various parts of the davening. It hinders my concentration and I have requested numerous times for quiet but to no avail. I have tried other shuls and encounter the same problem , if not worse. So maybe I should just quit davening?

    Just saying…..

    #1101289

    Sam2
    Participant

    I see no reason to think the Kavanah of the answerer is affected at all by the Kavanah of the reciter.

    #1101290

    feivel
    Participant

    I do

    #1101291

    Sam2
    Participant

    And what reason is that? Do you have any sort of Makor for that Svara?

    #1101292

    feivel
    Participant

    No just common sense

    #1101293

    lesschumras
    Participant

    Feivel, how could someone standing 50 feet away determine your kavana?

    #1101294

    nishtdayngesheft
    Participant

    I would guess that feivel understands that ???? ?????. But like you say ??? ??? ?? ????, the ???? cannot be more than the ????.

    #1101295

    Sam2
    Participant

    nisht: That’s not what Shomea K’oneh means.

    #1101296

    charliehall
    Participant

    “That all mourners say Kaddish is a very recent innovention”

    A Sefardic rabbi told me that all mourners saying Kaddish has always been the Sefardic practice.

    #1101297

    charliehall
    Participant

    I have a sufficiently loud voice that I can drown out a dozen other people saying Kaddish.

    #1101298

    charliehall
    Participant

    In the (Sefardic) synagogue I attended in Paris, all (male) mourners must approach the Arno HaKodesh and recite (the Sefardic) Kaddish in unison together. I found it much preferable to the typical Ashkenazi minhag of everyone saying it at their own pace and not listening to each other.

    #1101299

    Sam2
    Participant

    feivel: If I said something was “common sense” you would call it a “Boich Sevara”.

    #1101300

    feivel
    Participant

    Probably

    #1101301

    BarryLS1
    Participant

    charliehall: That seems to be the most appropriate approach. It’s sad that people say kaddish in a meaningless way, like it’s a contest who can finish faster. I wait and answer the last person, because they are usually left out.

    Wolf, I suggest you go near the Bimah and say it loader and at your own pace. The Shul has to wait for you and the others will get the message that it won’t save them the 5-10 seconds.

    #1101302

    Sam2
    Participant

    Just so we’re agreed. 🙂

    #1101303

    Abba_S
    Participant

    Wolf

    I am sorry for the loss of your mother. WE all know you want to say Kaddish with the proper Kavanah but even if you don’t have all the proper kavanah it is still a benefit for your mother.

    So if you don’t say kaddish you are depriving your mother of the zechusim (benefits).

    Wishing everyone a happy & healthy new year.

    edited

    #1101304

    oomis
    Participant

    I am SO sorry for your loss. HaMakom Yenacheim eschem b’soch sh’ar aveilei Tzion v’Yerushalayim. I know that can be expressed during the whole aveilus. The highest kovod you can show your mom O”H is in your commitment to saying Kaddish. Have you spoken to the shul rov or gabboim about your issue?

    Only simcha and nachas in the coming year.

    #1101305

    miritchka
    Member

    I read this and almost cried. I think getting the rov involved is important, or maybe gently ask one of the aveilim to daven next to you and you can say it together.

    But this makes me wonder, what if there is, lo aleinu, a child that has to say kaddish? I dont know what age a child has to be to say kaddish, but even if its a 13 yr old, how can they keep up with the adults who can read the difficult words quickly without a problem?

    May we only have good things to share.

    #1101306

    Happy Go Lucky!!
    Participant

    There’s a Kehilla I know, where they instituted a custom that all who say Kaddish do so for one specific location. If there’s c”v a youngster, he will be tenderly guided, patiently and compassionately, by the others doing the same.

    #1101307

    Sam2
    Participant

    feivel: So why do you have a right to common sense and I don’t (though I try to avoid “common sense” Halachic arguments because they’re often so subjective)?

    #1101308

    feivel
    Participant

    I’m not claiming any rights.

    I’m not making any Halachic arguments.

    Im not trying to win or debate or poskin anything.

    I’m only trying to help wolf come to a decision by pointing out the obvious.

    That there is more to communication between people than the mere recital of words.

    Besides facial expressions and body motions which may not have a schichus here, there is enunciation, inflection, tonality, “nigun”, spirit, and so on which are reflections of the mind, of kavana.

    There is also a deeper, more nebulous “something” spiritual that comes from a direct connection between Neshamos. Did you ever hear someone speaking “from the heart”. Even if he is a poor orator, a tznua in facial and body motions, even if you don’t understand much of what he is saying, it has an impact.

    All this has an effect on the listener which in turn has an effect on the listener’s response.

    I could go on for a long time but I really was trying to avoid spending time on this that should be obvious, and beginning another cycle of empty back and forth with no toeles.

    #1101309

    Dr. Who
    Member

    Hi I don’t typically post to feeds, but this is a topic which is very close to my heart. I would like to tell you a story I am personally familiar with, which illustrates the incredible importance of, and benefit to the deceased by the saying of the Kaddish. In my neighborhood recently an elderly non religious Russian man passed away. Having no children his wife approached my friend an inquired as to the procedure for the kaddish and we introduced her to a professional “kaddish zugger” from shul. He informed her of the cost and although she couldnt afford the large sum, agreed to pay if it could be paid in installments. She made the first payment and he started saying kaddish for her husband. She however did not continue with the payments so after some time the fellow stopped saying the Kaddish. One day shortly after he stopped I saw him rushing somewhere rather late in the evening. When he was asked where he was rushing to, he answered “I need to find a late mincha I have to say Kaddish for the russian man.” He proceeded to tell of the old widow looking for him in a very distraught state. My late husband came to me in a dream and said the following. “Where I am now I am only here because of the kaddish you had someone say for me, but they tell me I will be moved from this place very soon because you no longer pay for him to say the kaddish, if you dont pay him I will kill you myself”. The kaddish zugger continued, “so she tracked me down and begged me to save her life and immidiately say kaddish”.

    #1101310

    Happy Go Lucky!!
    Participant

    SPOOOOOKS!!!!!

    WOW!!!

    It’s all I can say. I’ve heard before that it’s a powerful tefillah – WOW!!!!

    #1101311

    amichai
    Participant

    I am very sorry on the loss of your mother. I think you should continue at your own pace when you recite the kaddish and pple. that hear you will answer. may you be comforted amongst the mourners of zion, and have only simchas in your family.

    #1101312

    Excellence
    Participant

    If they say mum instead of mom do you have to follow along?

    You say your kaddish at your own speed – and that’s it. If others want to say theirs faster, it is no relevance to you. Your relative is counting on that kaddish from you to alleviate any judgement. The nicer you say it, the better.

    #1101313

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Excellence, taking too long is tircha d’tziburah, as Wolf pointed out. Also, the aveilim (should) want as many people responding as possible, and all saying Kaddish together is the best way to achieve this.

    #1101314

    Happy Go Lucky!!
    Participant

    A word on that SPOOKY story related above, (and to pass some valuable time before the first night of ??????).

    It seems to corroborate of the little I’ve heard about ????? in the upper world. Which is, that a Neshama, upon leaving one’s body will retain the middos and traits followed and ingrained in it, while in this world. There is no character refinement for Neshamos in the next world. If a person leaves this world in a state of boorishness, debauchery, etc. r”l, that is the state his/her Neshamah continues on. Oh! The shame!!!

    It confirms with the response of the man visiting his wife in a dream: “if you don’t pay him I will kill you myself”, same gruff, boorish tone he probably used while alive.

    Message? The time to do Teshuva is NOW. Character refinement, attaining perfection, reaching for spiritual lofts is for the NOW!!!

    Let us all be Zoche to true Teshuva, from the whole heart and soul, and may we ALL be Gebentched with a good, SWEET, new year.

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