Chapter: 04 – The Chazan and the Mourner’s Kaddish

01 – An Appropriate Prayer Leader

The chazan leads the prayer service. Sometimes, the whole congregation says the prayers together with him while he sets the pace; other times, he recites the prayers and the congregation responds Amen, such as in Chazarat HaShatz (repetition of the … Continue reading

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02 – Chazanut for the Sake of Heaven

While singing, the chazanim must have kavanah for the sake of Heaven, but if they prolong their chazanut (cantillation) and their only intention is to show off their beautiful voices, the Torah writes about them, “It raises its voice against … Continue reading

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03 – Appointing a Chazan

The chazan is the emissary of the congregation, and therefore a person is prohibited from taking hold of the chazanut unless he is asked to do so by the congregation or by the gabbai as its representative. Hence, one may … Continue reading

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04 – Indecent Attire and the Importance of a Beard

The Chachamim say (Megillah 24a) that a poche’ach, a person whose clothes do not cover his body in a respectable manner, may not read from the Torah nor lead the prayer service. Therefore, a person wearing a sleeveless shirt or … Continue reading

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05 – The Mourner’s Prayer

A person mourning the death of one of his parents says Kaddish during the first year. Saying Kaddish is of great value to the deceased; it saves him from the judgment of Gehinnom, for since his son, whom he left … Continue reading

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06 – The Duration of the Kaddish Recital and the Yahrtzeit Day

According to Ashkenazic custom, a mourner leads the services and says Kaddish for eleven months after a parent’s death. This is because the judgment of evil people in Gehinnom is twelve months, and if a mourner recites Kaddish for the … Continue reading

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07 – Order of Precedence

In the past, it was customary in Ashkenaz that only one person recited Kaddish. When there were several mourners who needed to say Kaddish, it became necessary to establish an order of precedence. However, today most Ashkenazim and all Sephardim … Continue reading

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08 – Saying Kaddish for a Person Who Does Not Have an Adult Son

A minor whose mother or father died says Kaddish for his parent though he has not yet reached the age of mitzvot (bar mitzvah).  Mourner’s Kaddish was instituted for that purpose, since a child cannot lead the prayer service in … Continue reading

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