Reciting Kaddish in Unconventional and Unorthodox Circumstances

View as Single Page Single Page   

There were a couple of times when I said Kaddish in some unconventional or “unorthodox” circumstances, but they were quite meaningful to me, nevertheless. One of them was shortly after
Shloshim
, which is the first thirty days following the death of a loved one. Our family had the opportunity to spend a weekend at my husband’s sister’s beach house in New Jersey. There was no synagogue within walking distance. That Friday night I went up on their rooftop porch, as the sun was about to set. I had a most magnificent view of the horizon to my east, where the ocean met the sky, and to my west, where the glistening water of the bay met the sky. I prayed the Kabbalat Shabbat service with such kavanah, spiritual intention, and was so moved by that setting that I said the Kaddish aloud. There was no one to respond but, I felt such a strong connection to my mom at that moment. She’d grown up in a seashore town and just loved the ocean. Saying Kaddish for her there- just felt like the right thing to do in that moment.

Another nontraditional experience took place a couple of months after Mom died when I went out to Indianapolis, to visit my mom’s sole surviving sister. Aunt Lois had been unable to attend the funeral and the
shiva
, so I was grateful for the chance to visit with her and her family.  And, I wanted so much to, just once, recite Kaddish with her. During my brief stay, they arranged for us to attend their Reconstructionist synagogue for a weekday Mincha/Ma’ariv service. It turned out that no one else showed up for minyan other than the five of us. I was the only one who was religiously observant in the group. They turned to me and said, “What shall we do now?” I said we could all pray the Mincha service together and then my aunt and I would recite Kaddish, even without the minyan.  It was the one and only chance we had to do so, and I was determined to make it happen, even without a minyan. And, although, this was a highly irregular situation, it was comforting to say Kaddish with my aunt, with the other family members responding to our prayer.

Posted on August 7, 2014
View as Single Page Single Page    Print this page Print this page

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning.com are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy