To see the text of kaddish click here
The Status of Kaddish
Kaddish is an Aramaic prayer generally recited by a parent, spouse, sibling, or child after the death of a relative. If the deceased left no close relative, a distant relative or friend, or even a Yeshiva student (for payment) can recite Kaddish for him. The mourner recites Kaddish at the funeral and burial and then whenever he prays. Since Kaddish is considered a prayer of special sanctity, it is recited only in the presence of a minyan (at least ten men over thirteen years old).
Kaddish has attained such significance in Jewish communities that many people, who do not generally attend synagogue services, do so for the month or year after a relative’s death in order to recite Kaddish. For a list of groups that will say kaddish for you click here.
Recitation of Kaddish by Women
In the past, only men customarily recited Kaddish for departed relatives. Over time, however, women's interest in reciting Kaddish grew, particularly in families in which there were no males to assume this role. Today, there are circles in which women also recite Kaddish from their seat in the synagogue. A quorum of ten men is required for the recitation of Kaddish by a woman, just as it is required for its recitation by a man. For references and relevant sources click here.
The Manner of Reciting Kaddish
The congregation answers Amen after each paragraph of Kaddish. In most congregations, Kaddish is recited by all mourners in unison; if necessary, one mourner will slow down or wait for his fellow mourners to catch up at the end of each paragraph. Because of the importance of Kaddish, many Jewish communities (especially Ashkenazic ones) stand while hearing it. In other communities, however, only the mourner stands. To listen to Kaddish click here
Kaddish and Its Translation
Kaddish is a prayer praising and glorifying God, declaring His kingship over the world and requesting that He grant peace and life. The prayer does not directly relate to the departed soul but rather declares the mourner's recognition of God's sovereignty despite the hardship that God has made him face. The Kaddish we recite today is an evolution of a Talmudic custom that further evolved in the Middle Ages, following the Crusades.
Types of Kaddish
There are several types of Kaddish:
Mourner's Kaddish – This Kaddish is recited by the mourners at the funeral and burial and then for eleven months (for one's parents) or for thirty days (for other relatives). Kaddish is recited several times in each prayer on weekdays and on Shabbat and festivals. It is then recited every year on the yahrzeit for the rest of one's life.
Kaddish D'Etchadita – The mourners recite this Kaddish written in the beginning of the Middle Ages, at the time of burial near the deceased's grave. In addition to praising God, this Kaddish also mentions the resurrection of the dead and life in the world to come – which is why it is said specifically at the time of burial.
Rabbi's Kaddish (Kaddish D'Rabanan) – The mourner recites this Kaddish wherever selections from Talmud were inserted in our prayers and it includes additions relating to our Sages.
Kaddish Shalem and Chatzi Kaddish – This Kaddish has no connection to death and mourning – it is recited by the chazan and not by a mourner, to separate between different sections of prayer.
The full text of Kaddish in Aramaic and its English translation can be found in the section on the burial ceremony.