Sunday, February 5, 2012

Quality or quantity?

Every day I go to shul twice, once in the morning for Shacharit and once in the late afternoon for Mincha and Ma'ariv.  In Shacharit, I recite Kaddish five times (not including the Reader's Kaddish), the Rabbi's Kaddish two times and the Mourner's Kaddish three times.  At the end of Mincha I recite the Mourner's Kaddish.  The Rabbi then gives a short d'var halacha (a few words about a Jewish law) after which I recite the Rabbi's Kaddish.  At the end of Ma'ariv I again recite the Mourner's Kaddish.  This adds up to eight Kaddishes per day, three Rabbi's Kaddishes and five Mourner's Kaddishes.  Given an 11 month period of mourning, or about 332 days, I will recite Kaddish approximately 2,656 times.

While I endeavor every time I say Kaddish to think of my mother and my loss, many times I'm just uttering words, even more so if I feel rushed by others.  Saying Kaddish might actually be more meaningful if I said it less often.  There may be some reason why I'm required to recite it so often, but it doesn't really feel connected to my mourning.  However, there are times--and it always happens unexpectedly--that I feel my mother's presence as the words leave my mouth and tears come to my eyes and I am brought into some kind of otherworldly connection with her.  Lord, let these feelings never leave me.

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