Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Special Kaddish

There is a special kaddish that is recited at the graveside and at a siyum, a celebration for concludign learning a large portion of Torah. This kaddish is unique because it is unusually long and contains some tooth-breaking Aramaic. Why is this kaddish so different from all other kaddish texts and why do we say it at these two occasions?

R. Ya'akov Kamenetsky (Emes Le-Ya'akov, Shulchan Arukh, Yoreh De'ah 246:10 n. 130) explains:

The kaddish we recite at a siyum and at a burial do not have anything more than the usual kaddish. However, since there are so many ignorant people at a siyum and burial, they translated and explained the text of the kaddish [in Aramaic] so that they will also understand it.

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