Christ and Kaddish


There’s an ancient prayer in Aramaic which the Hebrew people have said for their dead for thousands of years called the Kaddish. (I thought it was beautiful and said it for a year after my father passed…family relationship to Judiasm is a little fuzzy, but my confessor said that he didn’t find anything theologically unsound with it.)

A basic translation can be found here:

Here are a couple of quotes I wanted to share with you, followed by my questions:

One important way to elevate the deceased’s soul is by saying Kaddish. Kaddish does not mention the dead, but is rather a praise of God. We declare that even though we have suffered a loss, we acknowledge that God knows best, and we place our trust in Him. (From here).

The first passage of [the Great] Kaddish

contains a prayer for the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the Temple and refers to a world-to-come where the dead will be raised to eternal life. (From here.)
I have no doubt that Jesus’ family would have said any one of the many versions of Kaddish for Him after His crucifixion. However, do you think that Christ ever said the Kaddish for anyone, for example, for St. Joseph?

He certainly may not have said it for Lazarus, whom Jesus knew he was going to resurrect.

(Man, I wish I could ask Rosalind Moss!)


Jesus probably would not have said would have said Kaddish for his father (assuming Joseph died before Jesus). One does not say kaddish for someone who is not an immediate family member, so he definately wouldn’t have said it for Lazuras.

But it is likely that the tradition of saying the Mourner’s Kaddish devolped some time after Jesus. Originally, Kaddish was said by rabbis after they finished a sermon or after studying.


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