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What Do the Words of Kaddish Mean?

What Do the Words of Kaddish Mean?

...besides just the translation


The Kaddish is all about our deepest desire as a people for a time when the world will be the way it was meant to be. G_d created a world “according to His will” with infinite potential for good and beauty—but it’s up to us to bring that out. We are like the farmers, plowing and seeding—and then waiting for the rain to fall, the sun to shine and our crop to sprout. So too, after so many generations of keeping Torah and its mitzvahs despite all the obstacles and challenges, we await the final sprouting and harvest of our redemption and the redemption of the entire world through the arrival of a great Jewish leader “the anointed one”—better known as the moshiach.
May that be very soon, sooner than we can imagine.

The Kaddish is not in Hebrew, but in a mixture of Hebrew and Aramaic. Aramaic was the common language of Jews for many years and the Kaddish was meant to be recited and understood by the common people. Three mothers of the Jewish People, Rebecca, Leah and Rachel, were from Aram, so our roots in this language are very deep—much deeper than Yiddish, Ladino or Judeo-Arabic. In fact, it’s considered “holy language #2”—a kind of intermediary between the holy and the mundane.

Here is a translation of the main body of the Kaddish:

May His great name be magnified and sanctified
In the universe that was created according to His will
And may His Kingdom be established
And may redemption sprout forth
And may His anointed one come.

May it happen in your lifetime
And in your days
And in the lifetime of all the House of Israel
Speedily and very soon
And they should say “Amen

May His great name be blessed forever and ever and ever

May the name of the Holy One, blessed be He,
be blessed and lauded and beautified
and exalted and raised up and glorified
and elevated and praised

Higher than any blessing and song,
praise and consolation
that we could say in the world

And they should say Amen

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Anonymous November 10, 2016

Why all the "mothers" are from Aram? Couldn't they find in Israel? Why they were looking so far?
What about Jordan? It is closer. Reply

Anonymous San Diego October 7, 2013

Thank you LA The comments from Annoymous LA are much appreciated. Reply

Esther Medford, Massachusetts December 12, 2011

response to anonymous in new Haven By letting go of bitterness and having compassion for your parent's limitations and issues you will free yourself of anger and the pain and heal yourself--and also learn from their mistakes. It will also allow your parent to advance in the next realm.
It will be initially challenging but if you release your resentment, it will help you grow as a person. Be kind to yourself and remember that your parent's actions may have been the result of past hurts as well.. I wish you healing, compassion, and love so you can release any lingering hurts. Reply

Anonymous new Haven, usa January 11, 2011

to help a parent We are observant jews, and we are saying kaddish for a departed parent. However, this parent was mean and nasty and very destructive and caused much sorrow for many many years. How does one get to forgive when one is still reeling from the intensity of the hurt and pain? We are human beings after all and it is very very hard to be super human and forgive such a person. Thanks, Reply

Anonymous Los Angeles, CA March 24, 2010

Kaddish This is one of the most beautiful and powerful affirmations of G-d. It is a prayer for the living to give them a perspective of where they are and where they will be. This prayer gives us strength and courage to face the future as we face it together with G-d. The Kaddish evokes the love we have for Him,Together with the S'hma, these are the two most powerful statements we have made about who we are and that we are nothing without Him. This is why we have survived 2000 years of brutal and barbaric treatment and this is why we flourished. G-d from Judaism can not be separated. There are no "cultural" Jews, either you are with Him or you're not. Reply

Anonymous Elgin, TX April 25, 2009

It is still majestic and beautiful It is an affirmation that I believe in G*d and trust in Him no matter how painful or mysterious His ways appear to me. Reply

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