Judaism 101

Learn the basics and gain confidence about Jewish holidays and traditions.

What is the Kaddish?

By Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg

The Kaddish is a Jewish prayer full of praise that is recited during Jewish prayer services and associated with death and mourning. Learn more about the meaning behind the prayer with Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg.

While to many Jews, the Kaddish is known primarily as the prayer recited at funerals, that wasn’t always the case. Back in the day, after a rabbinic lecture, the rabbinic would freestyle some words in Aramaic. These words would later become standard and recited after any teaching of Torah. In the 7th century, it became standard to teach Torah at every person’s funeral and when you teach Torah you say the words of Kaddish afterwards.

This video was created at the Chicago Rabbinic Writers Lab, a program where 10 rabbis wrote Introduction to Tefillah videos in chevruta as a group. This series breaks down and explains major Jewish prayers so you can feel more knowledgeable and comfortable while attending a Jewish service.

Find more videos about Jewish prayers and blessings here.

Learn How to Say the Mourner’s Kaddish

Learn to say the Mourner’s Kaddish – Jewish Prayer of Mourning – with this simple karaoke style video that combines the original Aramaic, a simple transliteration and the English translation. The Kaddish is in Aramaic, not Hebrew, except for the last sentence.

What is the Kaddish?

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