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MOURNER'S KADDISH (Sephardi)

KADDISH LAAVEL

Yit-ga-dal v-yit-ka-dash shmeh ra-ba. Amen.

Be-al-ma di-bra 'hir-u-teh, v-yam-li'h mal-'hu-teh, v-yats-ma'h pur-ka-neh, vi-ka-reb m-shi-'heh. (Amen).

B-'ha-ye-'hon ub-yo-me-'hon, ub-'ha-ye d-'hol bet yis-ra-el, ba-a-ga-la u-biz-man ka-rib, ve-im-ru Amen.

Ye-he shmeh ra-ba m-ba-ra-'h, le-a-lam le-al-me al-ma-ya, yit-ba-ra'h.

V-yish-ta-ba'h, v-yit-pa-ar, v-yit-ro-mam, v-yit-na-se, v-yit-ha-dar, v-yit-a-le, v-yit-ha-lal, shemeh de-kud-sha bri'h hu. (Amen).

Le-e`-la min kol bir-'ha-ta, shi-ra-ta, tush-b-'ha-ta, v-ne-'h-ma-ta, da-a-mi-ran be-al-ma, ve-im-ru Amen.

Ye-he shla-ma ra-ba min shma-ya ('ha-yim), 'ha-yim, v-sa-ba, vi-shu-a, v-ne-'ha-ma, v-she-za-ba, ur-fu-a, ug-u-la, us-li-'ha, v-'ha-pa-ra, v-re`-va'h v-hats-a-la, la`-nu ul-'hol a-mo yis-ra-el, ve-im-ru Amen.

O-se sha-lom bim-ro-mav, hu bra-'ha-mav ya-a-se sha-lom a-le`-nu, ve-al kol yis-ra-el, ve-im-ru Amen.

LIBERAL TRANSLATION

Render greatness and holiness to the mighty Name of God in this world created according to God's will (Ameyn).
May God's kingdom flourish through the revelation of the rule of goodness and the blossoming of salvation through the coming of the days of the annointed Shekhina-Messiah (Ameyn). May it happen within our lifetime or during the lifetime of any of the House of Israel. May it come speedily and soon; and we say, Ameyn.

MAY THE GREAT NAME (of God) BE A SOURCE OF BLESSING FOR ETERNITY AS A WITNESS!

May the Name of the Holy One be a source of blessing; and be praised, honored, extolled and glorified, adored and supremely exalted, beyond the ability of anyone in this world to offer blessings or sing hymns, praises and consolations; or to express thanksgiving; and we say, Ameyn.
May abundant and lasting peace descend upon us from Above, with life and prosperity, healing, solace, liberation, rescue and deliverance, atonement and forgiveness, redemption and salvation, for each of us, for all who do God's will and for all the House of Israel; and we say, Ameyn.
May the One who creates harmony in all the worlds, in tender love create peace for each of us and for all the House of Israel, and for all of the world, and let us say, Ameyn.

A TEACHING OF HAHAM DR. SOLOMON GAON ON THE KADDISH

The Kaddish has a long and remarkable history. As... a doxology (it) was recited at the close of a scholarly discourse. It was recited by the students as well as by the teacher when he was expected to dismiss the assembly on a note of praise to God, and of hope, with allusions to the future bliss of the Messianic era.

The basic element in the Kaddish is the response by the congregation, "Be (God's) great Name blessed for ever, yea, throughout eternity." It is around this response, which is taken almost verbatim from Daniel 2: 20 ("Blessed be the Name of God from everlasting to everlasting") that all the forms of the Kaddish evolved.

The Babylonian Talmud notes that "when [the people of] Israel assembles in the house of study to hear the Aggadah [discourse of traditional matter] from the preacher, they should respond afterwards, 'May (God's) great Name be blessed.'" Elsewhere in the Talmud there is a reference to the words, "Be (God's) great Name blessed and glorified for ever and ever" as a proper response to the sanctification of God's Name in the same manner as "Amen." We are also told that if one utters this response with a sincere heart, it may move the Almighty to cancel the punishment that might otherwise have been meted out to him for his sins. This Talmudic statement probably helped give the Kaddish the place of importance it holds today.

THE KADDISH IN CONNECTION WITH DEATH AND MOURNING

Haham Dr. Solomon Gaon continues - The name "Kaddish" for this doxology or declaration of praise first occurs in Tractate Soferim 16: 12; 19: 1; 19: 12 and 21: 6. It is there (19: 12), too, that we find the first mention of the Kaddish in connection with death and mourning. We are told that a Kaddish was recited at the close of SHIVAH, the seven days of mourning, following the discourses on Jewish learning, customarily delivered at a house of mourning. Initially, this Kaddish was recited only if the deceased had been known as a scholar of the Law. Later, however, it was recited at every SHIVAH and after every burial in order not to put anyone to shame as a non-scholar or "ignoramus." The Kaddish is found for the first time as part of the daily prayers in SEDER AMRAM GAON; it had been introduced into the liturgy because it contains a sanctification of God's Name and because the words which appear in all its variants, "... beyond the power of all blessings, hymns, praises and consolations" are taken to refer to prayers in general.

There is no specific religious law commanding children to recite the Kaddish, or any other prayer, in memory of a departed parent during the year of mourning and on each subsequent anniversary of his or her death. The Talmud merely states that children should mark the anniversary of a parent's death by fasting.

Jewish history and Rabbinic lore offer several explanations for the prominent place eventually attained by the Kaddish as a prayer for mourners. One explanation centers on the word "consolations." Originally, this word referred to the passages in Prophetic literature consoling the Jewish people for the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. It should be noted that the essential Kaddish contains no reference whatsoever to death or mourning for the dead. Only in the Burial Kaddish is there an allusion to the resurrection of the dead. ("... For [God] will again renew the world of life, redeeming the living and reviving the dead...;"). However, the concepts of mankind's eventual redemption and the coming of God's kingdom stated in the Kaddish offered such impressive consolation to the Jews amidst the tragedies of exile that they came to recite the Kaddish not only at times of national distress but also on occasions of personal sorrow. Especially when there was a death in the family, the Kaddish, with its promise of universal consolation and deliverance, became a source of strength and comfort.

A number of Sages point to the words, "May peace abundant descend from heaven ... atonement and forgiveness" as implying atonement also for those who are no longer alive. The Midrash relates that Rabbi Akiba ben Joseph helped save the soul of a man from the tortures of Hehinnam (Gehenna) by locating the man's surviving son who had been raised without a Jewish education, and teaching him to recite the passage from the Kaddish, "Be (God's) great Name blessed for ever, yea, throughout eternity." The recital of the Kaddish for eleven months following a parent's death came to be seen as a way of easing the agonies endured by the soul of the departed in Gehinnam. Tradition has it that the souls of all those who were not completely sinless in life are consigned to Gehinnam for a period not to exceed twelve months, during which they undergo purification making them fit to enter heaven. The reference to "forgiveness" in the Kaddish is interpreted as hastening the completion of this process. However, according to this tradition, the Kaddish is recited only for eleven months so as not to create an impression of filial disrespect; i.e., the assumption that the parent had been so sinfull in life as to require the full twelve-month period in Gehinnam.

The recital of the Kaddish also on each anniversary of the parent's death first became customary among German Jews. It was not introduced in Sephardi communities until the sixteenth century, by R. Isaac ben Solomon Luria.

However, the belief that the recital of the Kaddish by surviving children (or by other relatives, if the deceased left no offspring) helps the souls of the departed met with frank opposition from many Rabbinic authorities...

Perhaps the most cogent reason why the Kaddish should be recited by mourners is that it proclaims the praise of the Almighty, and the Talmud stresses that men owe praise to God not only for happiness but also for the misfortunes of life, since both are manifestations of (God's) universal righteousness. In addition, the Kaddish in all its variants includes prayers for the ultimate redemption of the world, the coming of God's kingdom and, equally important, for the life and well-being of the scholars who play a paramount role in the teaching and interpretation of the Law.

In view of all the foregoing, it is altogether fitting for a child to pay tribute to the memory of his (her) parents by reciting a prayer such as the Kaddish. It should be understood, however, that the Kaddish is not a magic formula for the "salvation" of the souls of the dead. It should be recited in a mood of humble resignation but also in a spirit of love and praise, glorifying God even amidst grief, turning to (God) as the Comforter of those who mourn or who remember loved ones on the anniversary of their death.

Whatever explanation one may accept for the recital of the Kaddish during periods of mourning, it is against the spirit of Judaism to look upon the Kaddish simply as a "prayer for the dead," and upon its recital as a morbid duty, perhaps the only occasion that brings some Jews into the House of God.

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