Sunday, May 13, 2018

A Year of Kaddish - Reflections on Minyan 2

I’ve written before that minyanim have their differences. One difference is the way the recite Kaddish. Some minyanim are almost completely made up of mourners. The majority of attendees are there to say Kaddish. Others have a core group supplemented by mourners. Some minyanim have clergy leading Kaddish. At others only the mourners recite. In some minyanim Kaddish is recited in a quiet undertone; while at others it is said in full voice.

I recite Kaddish in full voice. My words often carry out across the chapel, at times blending with the voices of others. I am one among many, supported by the other voices, our words carried to heaven by the sheer volume, ballooning upward, strong and steady. At other times my voice carries the voices of others, leading the kahal in our Kaddish. I wonder at the hesitancy of those quiet mourners. Are they uncomfortable with their role? With the words? Is it sorrow that holds back their voices?  I wonder, and I hope that the strength of my voice supports those quiet around me.

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