Kaddish (קדיש, Qaddish Aramaic: "holy"; alternate spellings, qaddish, ḳaddish) is a prayer found in the Jewish prayer service. The central theme of the Kaddish is the magnification and sanctification of God's name. In the liturgy different versions of the Kaddish are used functionally as separators between sections of the service. The term "Kaddish" is often used to refer specifically to "The Mourners' Kaddish", said as part of the mourning rituals in Judaism in all prayer services as well as at funerals and memorials. When mention is made of "saying Kaddish", this unambiguously denotes the rituals of mourning. Mourners say Kaddish to show that despite the loss they still praise God.
The opening words of this prayer are inspired by Ezekiel 38:23, a vision of God becoming great in the eyes of all the nations. The central line of the Kaddish in Jewish tradition is the congregation's response: יְהֵא שְׁמֵהּ רַבָּא מְבָרַךְ לְעָלַם וּלְעָלְמֵי עָלְמַיָּא (Yehei shmëh rabba mevarakh lealam ulalmey almaya, "May His great name be blessed for ever, and to all eternity"), a public declaration of God's greatness and eternality. This response is an Aramaic translation of the Hebrew "ברוך שם כבוד מלכותו לעולם ועד" (Blessed be His name, whose glorious kingdom is forever), which is to be found in the Jerusalem Targum (יְהֵא שְׁמֵיהּ רַבָּא מְבָרֵךְ לְעָלְמֵי עַלְמִין) (Genesis 49:2 and Deuteronomy 6:4), and is similar to the wording of Daniel 2:20.
The Mourners', Rabbis' and Complete Kaddish end with a supplication for peace ("Oseh Shalom..."), which is in Hebrew, and is somewhat similar to the Bible Job 25:2.
Along with the Shema and Amidah, the Kaddish is one of the most important and central prayers in the Jewish liturgy.
Famous quotes containing the word kaddish:
“Downtown Manhattan, clear winter noon, and Ive been up all night, talking, talking, reading the Kaddish aloud, listening to Ray Charles blues shout blind on the phonograph”
—Allen Ginsberg (b. 1926)