Many stories are told in the Midrashim indicating that because the son said kaddish for his father or mother they were saved from [Heavenly] judgment. It is, therefore, customary [for a mourner] to say kaddish, to be called up to maftir, and to act as chazzan before the congregation, especially on motza'ei shabbos (ending of Shabbos) which is the time when the souls return to Geihinnom. The same holds true for every evening, for then judgment is rendered with great severity. Concerning the kaddish there are many divergent rules, in accordance with the various [local] customs.


נִמְצְאוּ בַּמִּדְרָשִׁים הַרְבֵּה מַעֲשִׂיּוֹת, כִּי עַל יְדֵי שֶׁהַבֵּן אוֹמֵר קַדִּישׁ בִּשְׁבִיל אָבִיו אוֹ אִמּוֹ, נִצּוֹלִים מִן הַדִּין. עַל כֵּן נוֹהֲגִין לוֹמַר קַדִּישׁ. וְכֵן לַעֲלֹת לַמַפְטִיר וּלְהִתְפַּלֵּל לִפְנֵי הַתֵּבָה, וּבִפְרָט בְּמוֹצָאֵי שַׁבָּתוֹת, שֶׁהוּא הַזְּמָן שֶׁחוֹזְרוֹת הַנְּשָׁמוֹת לְגֵיהִנֹּם, וְכֵן בְּכָל עַרְבִית שֶׁאָז תִּגְבֹּרֶת הַדִּין. וְיֵשׁ בְּעִנְיַן הַקַּדִּישִׁים כַּמָּה חִלּוּקֵי דִּינִים עַל פִּי הַמִּנְהָגִים.


During the shivah,1 whether [the mourner] is a minor or an adult, a resident or a visitor, he is entitled to say all the kaddishim, precluding all other mourners. Even if a festival occurs during the shivah which, cancels the rules of the shivah, or [if the festival occurs] after the shivah which cancels the rules of the sheloshim,2 this does not nullify the laws of kaddish. Likewise, relative to kaddish [we do not apply] [the principle] that part of the day is considered as the whole day. Thus, even at Minchah of the seventh day, the mourner has the right to say all the kaddishim. The shivah and sheloshim are counted from the day of the burial. Even though the mourner was not informed [of his loss] immediately, and begins to observe the seven days of mourning afterwards, yet, with regard to saying kaddish the rules of shivah do not apply in his case.3 Similarly, if the death occurs on a festival, with regard to the kaddish we count, from the day of the burial.4


בְּתוֹךְ שִׁבְעָה, בֵּין שֶׁהוּא קָטָן בֵּין גָּדוֹל, בֵּין תּוֹשָׁב בֵּין אוֹרֵחַ, יֵשׁ לוֹ כָּל הַקַּדִּישִׁים, וְדוֹחֶה כָּל הָאֲבֵלִים. וַאֲפִלּוּ פָּגַע הָרֶגֶל תּוֹךְ שִׁבְעָה הַמְבַטֵּל גְּזֵרַת שִׁבְעָה, וְכֵן לְאַחַר שִׁבְעָה שֶׁמְבַטֵּל גְּזֵרַת שְׁלֹשִׁים, לְעִנְיַן קַדִּישׁ אֵינוֹ מְבַטֵּל. וְכֵן לֹא אַמְרִינָן לְעִנְיַן קַדִּישׁ מִקְּצָת הַיּוֹם כְּכֻלּוֹ. וַאֲפִלּוּ בְּמִנְחָה שֶׁל יוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי, יֵשׁ לוֹ כָּל הַקַּדִּישִׁים, וּמוֹנִין שִׁבְעָה וּשְׁלֹשִׁים מִיּוֹם הַקְּבוּרָה. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהָאָבֵל לֹא שָׁמַע מִיָּד, וְנוֹהֵג אַחַר כָּךְ שִׁבְעָה יְמֵי אֵבֵל. מִכָּל מָקוֹם, לְעִנְיַן קַדִּישׁ אֵין לוֹ דִּין שִׁבְעָה. וְכֵן אִם מֵת בָּרֶגֶל מוֹנִין לְעִנְיַן קַדִּישׁ מִיּוֹם הַקְּבוּרָה.


If there is also a yorzeit5 at the synagogue, then if the person observing shivah is a minor who attends [services] throughout the shivah at the synagogue, then the yorzeit may say one kaddish. If there are many people observing yorzeit then each one may say one kaddish, even if [because of that] the minor who is observing shivah is entirely excluded [from saying kaddish]. If there is a mourner observing sheloshim he may also say one kaddish. But if there are many observing sheloshim, then a minor who is observing shivah is not entirely excluded because of them. If [the mourner] is an adult who does not attend services [during shivah], at the synagogue, even though he prays at his home with a minyan, nevertheless, when he comes to the synagogue on Shabbos, he is [entitled] to say all the kaddishim. If one who is observing yorzeit is there, he is still entitled to say all the kaddishim, except for one kaddish over which lots should be drawn [to determine who will say it]. But if the shivah was interrupted either because of an intervening festival or his father's death occurred on a festival, then the law regarding a minor applies to him, since he may attend [services] at the synagogue daily.


אִם יֵשׁ בְּבֵית הַכְּנֶסֶת גַּם יָאהרְצַיְיט (פי' יום השנה לפטירת אביו או אמו). אֲזַי אִם הַבֶּן שִׁבְעָה הוּא קָטָן, שֶׁהוֹלֵךְ כָּל יְמֵי הַשִּׁבְעָה לְבֵית הַכְּנֶסֶת, יֵשׁ לְהַיָּארְצַיְיט קַדִּישׁ אֶחָד. וְאִם יֵשׁ הַרְבֵּה יָאהרְצַיְיט, יֵשׁ לְכָל אֶחָד קַדִּישׁ אֶחָד. וַאֲפִלּוּ אִם הַקָּטָן שֶׁהוּא בֶּן ז' יִדָּחֶה לְגַמְרֵי. וְאִם יֵשׁ בֶּן שְׁלֹשִׁים, יֵשׁ לוֹ גַּם כֵּן קַדִּישׁ אֶחָד. אֲבָל אִם יֵשׁ הַרְבֵּה בְּנֵי שְׁלֹשִׁים, אֵין הַקָּטָן בֶּן שִׁבְעָה נִדְחֶה מֵחֲמָתָן לְגַמְרֵי. וְאִם הוּא גָּדוֹל, שֶׁאֵינוֹ הוֹלֵךְ כָּל הַשִּׁבְעָה לְבֵית הַכְּנֶסֶת אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁמִּתְפַּלֵּל בְּבֵיתוֹ בְּמִנְיָן, מִכָּל מָקוֹם, כְּשֶׁבָּא בְּשַׁבָּת לְבֵית הַכְּנֶסֶת אוֹמֵר כָּל הַקַּדִּישִׁים. וְאִם יֵשׁ שָׁם יָאהרְצַיְיט, אוֹמֵר גַּם כֵּן כָּל הַקַּדִּישִׁים, מִלְבַד קַדִּישׁ אֶחָד יָטִילוּ עָלָיו גּוֹרָל. וְאַךְ כְּשֶׁנִּתְבַּטֵּל מִמֶּנּוּ הַשִּׁבְעָה עַל יְדֵי רֶגֶל, אוֹ שֶׁמֵּת אָבִיו בָּרֶגֶל, אֲזַי יֵשׁ לוֹ דִּין קָטָן, כֵּיוָן שֶׁיָּכוֹל לֵילֵךְ לְבֵית הַכְּנֶסֶת בְּכָל יוֹם.


A minor and an adult who are observing shivah; have equal rights regarding the kaddish, when they come to the synagogue on Shabbos. A person who is observing yorzeit, is barred by the adult [from saying kaddish], and, therefore, the adult recites [in this case] one kaddish more than the minor, that is, the kaddish which the minor would have had to give to the yorzeit.


בֶּן ז' קָטָן, וּבֶן ז' גָּדוֹל בַּשַׁבָּת כְּשֶׁבָּא לְבֵית הַכְּנֶסֶת, שָׁוִים בְּקַדִּישִׁים, וְאִם יֵשׁ גַּם יָאהרְצַיְיט, הוּא נִדְחֶה מֵחֲמַת הַגָּדוֹל. וְלָכֵן יֵשׁ לְהַגָּדוֹל קַדִּישׁ אֶחָד יוֹתֵר מִן הַקָּטָן, דְּהַיְנוּ הַקַּדִּישׁ שֶׁהָיָה צָרִיךְ הַקָּטָן לָתֵת לְהַיָּאהרְצַיְיט.


A person observing yorzeit and one observing sheloshim have preference over other mourners who are in their year of mourning. Even so, they should also be given some of the kaddishim. It is proper to follow the practice that the kaddish derabbonon and also the kaddish that is said after Aleinu, should be assigned to the person observing yorzeit or sheloshim, while the other kaddishim should be said by the other mourners, if there are as many mourners as there are kaddishim.


יָאהרְצַיְיט וְכֵן בֶּן שְׁלֹשִׁים, קוֹדְמִין לִשְׁאָר אֲבֵלִים שֶׁהֵם בְּתוֹךְ הַשָּׁנָה. וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם יֵשׁ לָהֶם לָתֵת גַּם לָהֶם אֵיזֶה קַדִּישִׁים. וְיֵשׁ לִנְהֹג שֶׁקַּדִּישׁ דְּרַבָּנָן, וְגַם הַקַּדִּישׁ שֶׁלְאַחַר עָלֵינוּ, יִהְיֶה לְהַיָּאהרְצַיְיט אוֹ לְבֶן ל', וּשְׁאָר הַקַּדִּישִׁים לִשְׁאָר הָאֲבֵלִים, אִם יֶשְׁנָם כְּמִנְיַן הַקַּדִּישִׁים.


[If there is in the synagogue] a person who is observing yorzeit and one who is observing sheloshim, then if at all possible, the one who is observing sheloshim should be given precedence, and the yorzeit should say only one kaddish. If there are many observing yorzeit, every one of them is entitled to one kaddish, even if [as a result] the person observing sheloshim will be entirely prevented [from saying kaddish], because the latter will have the opportunity to say it the next day, where as if the yorzeit does not say it today, he will have missed his opportunity.


יָאהרְצַיְיט וּבֶן שְׁלֹשִׁים הֵיכָא דְּאִכָּא רַוְחָא (פ' כשיש אפשרות), בֶּן שְׁלֹשִׁים קֹדֶם, וְאֵין לְהַיָּאהרְצַיְיט רַק קַדִּישׁ אֶחָד. וְאִם יֵשׁ הַרְבֵּה יָאהרְצַיְיט יֵשׁ לְכָל אֶחָד קַדִּישׁ אֶחָד, וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהַבֶּן שְׁלֹשִׁים יִדָּחֶה לְגַמְרֵי, מִשּׁוּם שֶׁהוּא יֹאמַר לְמָחָר. וְהַיָּאהרְצַיְיט אִם לֹא יֹאמַר הַיּוֹם, עָבַר זְמַנּוֹ.


If there are two mourners, with equal rights, they should draw lots, and if one wins the right to recite the kaddish at the Ma'ariv service the other is entitled accordingly, to say one kaddish at the Shacharis service without drawing lots, and for the third kaddish they should [again] draw lots. Likewise, if there are many [mourners], lots should also be drawn, and the one who wins does not participate in any subsequent lots until all the [mourners] have said [one kaddish].


אִם יֵשׁ שְׁנֵי אֲבֵלִים שָׁוִים יַטִילוּ גּוֹרָל בֵּינֵיהֶם, וּמִי שֶׁעָלָה לוֹ הַגּוֹרָל לוֹמַר עַרְבִית, יֵשׁ לַשֵּׁנִי כְּנֶגֶד זֶה קַדִּישׁ אֶחָד שַׁחֲרִית בְּלֹא גּוֹרָל. וְעַל הַקַּדִּישׁ הַגּ' יַטִילוּ גּוֹרָל. וְכֵן אִם יֶשְׁנָם הַרְבֵּה, גַּם כֵּן מַטִּילִין גּוֹרָל. וּמִי שֶׁעָלָה לוֹ הַגּוֹרָל, לֹא יָבֹא עוֹד בְּתוֹךְ הַגּוֹרָל עַד שֶׁיֹּאמְרוּ כֻלָּם.


A resident mourner takes precedence over a visitor (unless the visitor is observing shivah). Regarding a resident and a visitor who are observing yorzeit the visitor has no rights whatsoever. If there is a resident observing sheloshim, or a resident observing the year of mourning, and there is a visitor observing yorzeit, the visitor is entitled to one kaddish.6 And if there is a resident observing yorzeit and another resident observing sheloshim, and a visitor observing yorzeit, the visitor also says one kaddish, and the resident observing yorzeit cannot say to the visitor "I have precedence," for [the visitor] can answer: "I did not take this kaddish from you, but from the one observing sheloshim." The resident observing yorzeit says the first kaddish, and the visitor-yorzeit the second kaddish, and the one observing sheloshim the third kaddish.


הַתּוֹשָׁב קוֹדֵם לָאוֹרֵחַ (אִם אֵינוֹ תּוֹךְ שִׁבְעָה) יָאהרְצַיְיט תּוֹשָׁב וְיָאהרְצַיְיט אוֹרֵחַ אֵין לְהָאוֹרֵחַ כְּלוּם. בֶּן שְׁלֹשִׁים תּוֹשָׁב, אוֹ תּוֹךְ הַשָּׁנָה תּוֹשָׁב וְיָאהרְצַיְיט אוֹרֵחַ, יֵשׁ לְהָאוֹרֵחַ קַדִּישׁ אֶחָד. וְאִם יֵשׁ יָאהרְצַיְיט תּוֹשָׁב, וּבֶן שְׁלֹשִׁים תּוֹשָׁב, וְיָאהרְצַיְיט אוֹרֵחַ, יֵשׁ גַּם כֵּן לְהָאוֹרֵחַ קַדִּישׁ אֶחָד, וְאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל יָּאהרְצַיְיט הַתּוֹשָׁב לוֹמַר לוֹ: אֲנִי קוֹדֵם, כִּי יֹאמַר: לָאו מִדִּידָךְ קָֹשָקִילְנָא, אֶלָּא מִבֶּן שְׁלֹשִׁים. וְיֹאמַר הַיָּאהרְצַיְיט תּוֹשָׁב קַדִּישׁ רִאשׁוֹן, וְיָאהרְצַיְיט אוֹרֵחַ קַדִּישׁ בּ', וּבֶן שְׁלֹשִׁים קַדִּישׁ גּ'.


A visitor observing sheloshim and a resident observing the year of mourning, are in the same category.


אוֹרֵחַ בֶּן שְׁלֹשִׁים וְתוֹשָׁב תּוֹךְ הַשָּׁנָה שָׁוִים.


If there is a resident observing yorzeit and a visitor in his sheloshim, the resident says the first and second kaddish, and the visitor the third one.


יָאהרְצַיְיט תּוֹשָׁב וּבֶן שְׁלֹשִׁים אוֹרֵחַ, יֹאמַר הַתּוֹשָׁב קַדִּישׁ רִאשׁוֹן וְשֵׁנִי, וְהָאוֹרֵחַ הַשְּׁלִישִׁי.


A visitor observing the year of mourning is entitled to one kaddish among the residents in mourning who, are also observing the year of mourning.


אוֹרֵחַ בְּתוֹךְ הַשָּׁנָה, יֵשׁ לוֹ קַדִּישׁ א' בְּתוֹךְ אֲבֵלִים תּוֹשָׁבִים בְּתוֹךְ הַשָּׁנָה.


A resident in this regard is considered, anyone with a permanent residence in the community even though he pays no taxes [to the kehillah,7] or he pays taxes [to the kehillah] even though he does not reside there. If someone comes from a different community to say kaddish after his father or mother who resided in the community; even though they were residents nevertheless, since this son does not reside there nor pays taxes, he is not considered a resident. A resident who employs a teacher or a servant, if they are single, they are considered residents [of the community]; but if they have wives who live elsewhere, then they are considered visitors. A student in a yeshivah, and a teacher who is employed to teach the children of many residents, even though their wives live elsewhere, have the status of community residents. If a resident raises an orphan in his house, even for compensation, if [this orphan] has neither father nor mother, he [the orphan] is considered a resident; but if the orphan has either a father or a mother elsewhere, even if he is being raised as an act of charity, [the orphan] has the status of visitor.


תּוֹשָׁב נִקְרָא לְעִנְיָן זֶה, כָּל שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ כָּאן דִּירַת קֶבַע, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ פּוֹרֵעַ מַס, אוֹ שֶׁהוּא פּוֹרֵעַ כָּאן מַס, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ דָּר כָּאן. וּמִי שֶׁבָּא לְכָאן מִמָּקוֹם אַחֵר, לוֹמַר קַדִּישׁ אַחַר אָבִיו וְאִמּוֹ שֶׁהָיוּ דָּרִים כָּאן, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵמָּה הָיוּ תוֹשָׁבִים כָּאן, מִכָּל מָקוֹם, כֵּיוָן שֶׁהַבֵּן הַזֶּה אֵינוֹ דָּר כָּאן וְאֵינוֹ פּוֹרֵעַ כָּאן מַס, אֵין לוֹ דֵּין תּוֹשָׁב. בַּעַל הַבַּיִת שֶׁמַּחְזִיק מְלַמֵּד אוֹ מְשָׁרֵת, אִם הֵם פְּנוּיִים נִקְרָאִים כָּאן תּוֹשָׁבִים. אֲבָל אִם יֵשׁ לָהֶם נָשִׁים בְּמָקוֹם אַחֵר, הֲרֵי הֵן כָּאן כְּאוֹרְחִים. וְהַלּוֹמֵד בִּישִׁיבָה, וְכֵן מְלַמֵּד הַמֻּשְׂכָּר לְכַמָּה בַּעֲלֵי בָתִּים, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁיֵּשׁ לָהֶם נָשִׁים בְּמָקוֹם אַחֵר, דִּינָם כָּאן כַּתּוֹשָׁבִים. הַמְגַדֵּל יָתוֹם בְּבֵיתוֹ אֲפִלּוּ בְּשָׂכָר, אִם אֵין לוֹ לֹא אָב וְלֹא אֵם, יֵשׁ לוֹ כָּאן דִּין תּוֹשָׁב. אֲבָל אִם יֵשׁ לוֹ אָב אוֹ אֵם בְּמָקוֹם אַחֵר, אֲפִלּוּ מְגַדְּלוֹ בְּתוֹרַת צְדָקָה, יֵשׁ לוֹ דִּין אוֹרֵחַ.


One who prays at a synagogue or at a [certain] Beis Hamidrash, regularly, who now comes to say kaddish at another synagogue, the mourners there may prevent him [from saying it], even if he is in his shivah period. His status is less than that of a visitor, because a visitor has no other place to pray and say kaddish, while this person has.


מִי שֶׁמִּתְפַּלֵּל בְּבֵית הַכְּנֶסֶת אוֹ בְּבֵית הַמִּדְרָשׁ תָּמִיד, אִם בָּא לוֹמַר קַדִּישׁ בְּבֵית כְּנֶסֶת אַחֵר, הָאָבֵלִים שֶׁבָֹּשָם יְכוֹלִין לִדְחֹתוֹ וַאֲפִלּוּ הוּא תּוֹךְ שִׁבְעָה, דְּגָרַע מֵהָאוֹרֵחַ, כִּי הָאוֹרֵחַ אֵין לוֹ מָקוֹם לְהִתְפַּלֵּל וְלוֹמַר קַדִּישׁ, וְזֶה יֵשׁ לוֹ.


A mourner who is capable and worthy to act as chazzan, should do so8 since this is of greater benefit than saying the mourner's kaddish, which was originally instituted only for minors. A mourner who is unable to lead the entire service, should begin from Ashrei and Uva letziyon etc. The mourner who is first in line for saying kaddish, for example, one in his shivah or sheloshim, is also first in line with respect to acting as the chazzan. It is customary that a mourner does not lead the service on Shabbos and on Yom Tov.9 However, if before becoming a mourner he was accustomed to lead the service on Shabbos and Yom Tov, he may do so also during the mourning period. (Sha'arei Teshuvah quoting Teshuvas Meir; Nesivim Ch. 80, see Ch. 128: 8 below).


מִי שֶׁיָּכוֹל וְרָאוּי לְהִתְפַּלֵּל לִפְנֵי הַתֵּבָה, יִתְפַּלֵּל, וּמוֹעִיל יוֹתֵר מִקַּדִּישׁ יָתוֹם, שֶׁלֹּא נִתְקַן אֶלָּא לַקְטַנִּים. וּמִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהִתְפַּלֵּל כָּל הַתְּפִלָּה, יִתְפַּלֵּל מִן אַשְׁרֵי וּבָא לְצִיּוֹן וּלְהַלָּן. וּמִי שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ זְכוּת יוֹתֵר בְּקַדִּישִׁים, כְּגוֹן, בֶּן ז' וְל', יֵשׁ לוֹ גַּם כֵּן זְכוּת יוֹתֵר בְּעִנְיַן הַתְּפִלָּה. נוֹהֲגִין שֶׁאֵין אָבֵל מִתְפַּלֵּל לִפְנֵי הַתֵּבָה בַּשַׁבָּת וְיוֹם טוֹב. אַךְ אִם גַּם קֹדֶם הָאֲבֵלוּת, הָיָה דַּרְכּוֹ לְהִתְפַּלֵּל בַּשַׁבָּת וְיוֹם טוֹב, גַּם בִּזְמַן הָאֲבֵלוּת יִתְפַּלֵּל. (שַעֲרֵי תְּשׁוּבָה בְֹּשֵם תְֹּשוּבַת מֵאִיר נְתִיבִים סִימָן פ', וְעַיֵּן לְקַמָּן סִימָן קכ"ח סָעִיף ח')


If two mourners have equal rights with regard to Kaddish, and both of them are capable of acting as chazzan and are equally acceptable to the congregation, they should draw lots [to determine] which one should lead in prayer until Ashrei and Uva letzion, and the second one should lead from Ashrei and Uva letziyon [to the conclusion of the service]. If one mourner is unable to lead the prayers or he is unacceptable to the congregation and the other mourner leads the prayers, the one who leads the prayers does not forfeit his rights to the kaddishim. Nevertheless, he ought to relinquish his rights and leave the kaddish to the one who did not lead in prayer, certainly [he should relinquish his rights] when [the other mourners] are minors.


שְׁנַיִם שֶׁשָּׁוִים בְּדִין קַדִּישׁ, וּשְׁנֵיהֶם יְכוֹלִים לְהִתְפַּלֵּל לִפְנֵי הַתֵּבָה, וּמְרֻצִּים בְּשָׁוֶה לַקָּהָל, יַטִילוּ גּוֹרָל, שֶׁהָאֶחָד יִתְפַּלֵּל עַד אַשְׁרֵי וּבָא לְצִיּוֹן, וְהַשֵּׁנִי יִתְפַּלֵּל אַשְׁרֵי וּבָא לְצִיּוֹן. וְאִם אֶחָד אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהִתְפַּלֵּל לִפְנֵי הַתֵּבָה, אוֹ שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְרֻצֶּה לַקָּהָל, וְהִתְפַּלֵּל הַשֵּׁנִי, לֹא הִפְסִיד זֶה שֶׁהִתְפַּלֵּל זְכוּתוֹ בַּקַדִּישִׁים, וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם יֵשׁ לוֹ לְוַתֵּר, לְהַנִּיחַ הַקַּדִּישׁ לְמִי שֶׁלֹּא הִתְפַּלֵּל, וּמִכָּל שֶׁכֵּן לִקְטַנִּים.


A person who is in mourning for both his father and his mother, is not entitled to any more rights with regard to leading in prayer or the kaddish than any other mourner, because one remembrance suffices for both parents.


מִי שֶׁהוּא אָבֵל עַל אָבִיו, וְגַם עַל אִמּוֹ, מִכָּל מָקוֹם, אֵין לוֹ זְכוּת יוֹתֵר בִּתְפִלּוֹת וְקַדִּישִׁים מִשְּׁאָר אָבֵל, מִשּׁוּם דְּזִכָּרוֹן אֶחָד עוֹלֶה לְכָאן וּלְכָאן. (כנ"י) ועַיֵּן נוב"ה סִימָן ה.


It is customary to say kaddish for no more than eleven months, in order not to make the parents appear as grave sinners, for grave sinners are sentenced for a period of twelve months. For example, if the death occurred on the 10th of Shevat, the [mourner] stops saying [kaddish] on the 9th of Teiveis. On the 10th of Teiveis he should not say [kaddish], since this is the first day of the twelfth month [and we have a rule] that one day of a month counts as an entire month, it will appear that he said it for twelve months. The Kaddish period of eleven months is counted from the day of the burial10 and not from the day of death. [Consequently], if the burial took place on the 11th of Shevat, the mourner stops saying kaddish on the 10th of Teiveis, because the Heavenly judgment begins only after burial. If it was a leap year he stops saying kaddish on the 9th (or 10th) of Kisleiv. On the day the mourner stops saying Kaddish, he is entitled to say all the kaddishim, but a yorzeit [who is present] is entitled to one kaddish, and so is a person in his sheloshim. If there are a number of people observing yorzeit, or mourners in their sheloshim, he is completely debarred because of them. If [a mourner] knows that his father or mother were grave sinners, of the category of those who are judged for twelve months, it is fitting and obligatory that he says kaddish for twelve months.


נוֹהֲגִין שֶׁאֵין אוֹמְרִים קַדִּישׁ רַק י"א חֳדָשִׁים, שֶׁלֹּא לְהַחְזִיק אָבִיו וְאִמּוֹ כִּרְשָׁעִים, דְּמִשְׁפַּט שֶׁל רְשָׁעִים הוּא י"ב חֹדֶשׁ. שֶׁאִם מֵת דֶּרֶךְ מָשָׁל, יו"ד שְׁבָט, פּוֹסֵק לוֹמַר ט' טֵבֵת, וביו"ד טֵבֵת לֹא יֹאמַר דְּהָא הֲוֵי יוֹם א' בְּחֹדֶשׁ י"ב, וְיוֹם א' בַּחֹדֶשׁ חָשׁוּב חֹדֶשׁ, וַהֲוֵי כְּאִלּוּ אָמַר י"ב חֹדֶשׁ. וּלְעִנְיָן זֶה מוֹנִים מִיּוֹם הַקְּבוּרָה, לֹא מִיּוֹם הַמִּיתָה. שֶׁאִם נִקְבַּר י"א שְׁבָט, אֲזַי פּוֹסֵק בּיו"ד טֵבֵת, כִּי הַמִּשְׁפָּט אֵינוֹ מַתְחִיל עַד לְאַחַר הַקְּבוּרָה (פרמ"ג בספר נועם מגדים). וְאִם הָיְתָה שָׁנָה מְעֻבֶּרֶת, פּוֹסֵק ט', (אוֹ י') כִּסְלֵו. וְיוֹם זֶה שֶׁהוּא פּוֹסֵק בּוֹ, יֵשׁ לוֹ כָּל הַקַּדִּישִׁים. רַק לְיָאהרְצַיְיט שַׁיָּךְ קַדִּישׁ א'. וְכֵן לְבֶן שְׁלֹשִׁים. וְאִם יֵשׁ כַּמָּה יָאהרְצַיְיט, אוֹ בְּנֵי שְׁלֹשִׁים, נִדְחֶה הוּא מִפְּנֵיהֶם לְגַמְרֵי. מִי שֶׁיּוֹדֵעַ בְּאָבִיו וְאִמּוֹ שֶׁהָיוּ רְשָׁעִים מֵאוֹתָן שֶׁנִּדּוֹנִין י"ב חֹדֶשׁ, רָאוּי וּמְחֻיָּב שֶׁיֹּאמַר קַדִּישׁ י"ב חֹדֶשׁ.


If there are many mourners, may the Merciful One save us, then, in order to avoid quarrels and friction, it is customary in many communities for two or three mourners to say kaddish together.


כְּשֶׁיֵּשׁ הַרְבֵּה אֲבֵלִים, רַחְמָנָא לִצְלָן, אֲזַי כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יָבֹאוּ לִידֵי קְטָטוֹת וּמְרִיבוֹת, נוֹהֲגִין בְּהַרְבֵּה מְקוֹמוֹת, שֶׁאוֹמְרִים ב' אוֹ ג' בְּיַחַד.


If there is no one in the synagogue mourning the loss of a father or a mother then the [mourner's] kaddish should be recited by anyone who has neither father or mother.11 This Kaddish is said for the sake of all the departed in Israel. In some communities it is the custom for relatives to say the kaddish for members of their family if there are no mourners for fathers or mothers. Even when there are mourners for fathers or mothers, if someone wishes to say the kaddish for a grandfather or a grandmother who died without leaving any sons, or for his son or daughter who died without leaving any sons, the other [mourners] should allow him to say one kaddish, after each of them have said their kaddish. There are communities that follow the custom that relatives may say kaddish [for any family member] even when there are mourners for fathers and mothers present, but they reach a compromise, that they do not say as many kaddishim as those who mourn their father or mother. In this matter we follow the prevailing custom provided the custom is firmly established in that community.


אִם אֵין בְּבֵית הַכְּנֶסֶת אָבֵל עַל אָבִיו וְאִמּוֹ, יֹאמַר אוֹתוֹ קַדִּישׁ מִי שֶׁאֵין לוֹ אָב וָאֵם, בְּעַד כָּל מְתֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל. וְיֵשׁ מְקוֹמוֹת שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ, שֶׁשְּׁאָר קְרוֹבִים אוֹמְרִים קַדִּישׁ עַל קְרוֹבֵיהֶם, כְּשֶׁאֵין אֲבֵלִים עַל אֲבִיהֶם וְאִמָּם. וְגַם כְּשֶׁיֵּשׁ אֲבֵלִים עַל אֲבִיהֶם וְאִמָּם, אִם יֵשׁ מִי שֶׁרוֹצֶה לוֹמַר קַדִּישׁ אַחַר אֲבִי זְקֵנוֹ, אוֹאֵם זְקֶנְתּוֹ, שֶׁמֵּתוּ בְּלֹא בָּנִים, אוֹ אַחַר בְּנוֹ, אוֹ בִּתּוֹ שֶׁמֵּתוּ בְּלֹא בָּנִים, יַנִּיחוּ לוֹ הָאֲבֵלִים לוֹמַר קַדִּישׁ אֶחָד, לְאַחַר שֶׁהֵם אָמְרוּ כָּל אֶחָד. וְיֵשׁ מְקוֹמוֹת שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ, שֶׁגַּם שְׁאָר קְרוֹבִים אוֹמְרִים קַדִּישׁ, אֲפִלּוּ בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁיֵּשׁ אֲבֵלִים עַל אָב וָאֵם, אֶלָּא שֶׁעוֹשִׂים פְּשָׁרָה בֵּינֵיהֶם, שֶׁאֵין אוֹמְרִים כָּל כָּךְ קַדִּישִׁים, כְּמוֹ הָאֲבֵלִים עַל אָב וָאֵם, וְהוֹלְכִים בְּכָל זֶה אַחַר הַמִּנְהָג, וּבִלְבַד שֶׁיְּהֵא מִנְהָג קָבוּעַ בָּעִיר.


A daughter should not say kaddish at the synagogue. However, some authorities are of the opinion, that if a minyan assembles at her home in order that she may say the kaddish there, they may do so. But other authorities hold that even this is not permitted.


הַבַּת אֵין לָהּ לוֹמַר קַדִּישׁ בְּבֵית הַכְּנֶסֶת, אַךְ יֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים שֶׁאִם רוֹצִים לַעֲשׂוֹת מִנְיָן בְבֵיתָהּ שֶׁתֹּאמַר שָׁם הָרְשׁוּת בְּיָדָם (כנ"י), וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים דְּגַם זֹאת אֵין לַעֲשׂוֹת (חוות יאיר סִימָן רכ"ב).


If a person observes yorzeit12 and is unable to say kaddish, for example, he is traveling, or there were not enough kaddishim for everyone, then he may say kaddish at the Maariv service following the yorzeit.


מִי שֶׁהָיָה לוֹ יָאהרְצַיְיט, וְלֹא [הָיָה] יָכוֹל לוֹמַר קַדִּישׁ, כְּגוֹן, שֶׁהָיָה בַּדֶּרֶךְ, אוֹ שֶׁלֹּא הִגִּיעַ לוֹ קַדִּישׁ, יָכוֹל לוֹמַר קַדִּישׁ בִּתְפִלַּת עַרְבִית שֶׁלְּאַחַר הַיָּאהרְצַיְיט.


Even though the saying of kaddish and prayers are helpful to [the souls of] the parents, yet they are not the main thing. The most important thing is that the children walk in the path of righteousness, because with that they gain Heavenly favor for their parents. Thus it is written in the holy Zohar: (at the end of the portion Bechukosai) "A son honors his father."13 This statement is similar to the Divine command "Honor your father and your mother,"14 which teaches [that a son must provide his parents] with food and drink. All this he must do while they are alive. but after their death you might think he is exempt, this is not so. Even after their death it is his duty to honor them even more, for it is written, "Honor your father;" and if the son walks in the path of evil, he surely shows contempt for his father, and disgraces him. But if the son walks in the path of righteousness and acts properly, he certainly honors his father thereby; he honors him in this world in the [eyes] of men, and confers glory on him in the other world in the presence of the Holy One, blessed is He. And the Holy One, blessed is He, has mercy on him and seats him on His Throne of Honor … (end of Zohar text). A person should, therefore, instruct his children to observe one certain mitzvah [with particular care]. If they fulfill [this mitzvah] it counts for more than saying the kaddish. This is also a good course [to follow] for a person who has no sons, only daughters.


אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֲמִירַת הַקַּדִּישׁ וְהַתְּפִלּוֹת מוֹעִילוֹת לְהָאָבוֹת, מִכָּל מָקוֹם, אֵין אֵלּוּ הָעִקָּר אֶלָּא הָעִקָּר הוּא שֶׁהַבָּנִים יֵלְכוּ בְּאֹרַח מִישׁוֹר, כִּי בָּזֶה מְזַכִּים אֶת הָאָבוֹת. הָכֵי אִיתָא בְּזוֹהַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ (סוֹף פָּרָֹשַת בְּחֻקֹּתַי), בֵּן יְכַבֵּד אָב, כְּמָּה דְּאַתְּ אָמֵר, כַּבֵּד אֵת אָבִיךָ וְאֵת אִמֶּךָ, וְאוּקְמוּהָ בְּמֵיכְלָא וּמִשְׁתַּיָּא. וּבְכֹלָּא, הָאי בְּחַיּוֹי דְּאִתְחַיֵּב בֵּיה. בָּתַר דְּמִית, אִי תִּימָא הָא פָּטוּר הוּא, לָאו הָכֵי דְּאַף עַל גַּב דְּמִית אֶתְחַיַּב בִּיקָרֵיהּ יַתִּיר, דִּכְתִיב כַּבֵּד אֵת אָבִיךָ. דְּאִי הַהוּא בְּרָא אָזִיל בְּאֹרַח תַּקְלָא, וַדַאי מְבַזֶּה לַאֲבוֹי הוּא, וַדַּאי עָבִיד לֵיה קְלָנָא. וְאִי הַהוּא בְּרָא אָזִיל בְּאֹרַח מִישׁוֹר, וְתַקִין עוֹבָדוֹי וַדַּאי דָּא אוֹקֵיר לַאֲבוֹי, אוֹקִיר לֵיה בְּהַאי עָלְמָא גַּבֵּי בְּנֵי נָשָּׁא, אוֹקִיר לֵיה בְּהַהוּא עַלְמָא גַּבֵּי קֻדְשָׁא בְּרִיךְ הוּא. וְקֻדְשָׁא בְּרִיךְ הוּא חָיִיס עַלֵהּ, וְאוֹתֵיב לֵיה בְּכֻרְסְיָא דִּיקָרֵיה וַדַּאי וְכוּ' עַד כָּאן לְשׁוֹנוֹ. וְיֵשׁ לוֹ לָאָדָם לְצַוּוֹת אֵת בָּנָיו לְהַחְזִיק בְּאֵיזֹה מִצְוָה, וְאִם מְקַיְמִין נֶחְשָׁב יוֹתֵר מִן הַקַּדִּישׁ, וְהוּא תַּקָּנָה טוֹבָה גַּם לְמִי שֶׁאֵין לוֹ בָּנִים אֶלָּא בָּנוֹת.