Sunday, March 11, 2012

Kaddish, with and without tears

Sometimes, actually most times, when I recite Kaddish, it's just words.  There are internal and external factors at work.  One is how I'm feeling.  Sometimes my emotions are near the surface, other times they are buried within.  At this point, I can't really explain what accounts for the variation, though, on reflection, I believe that morning Kaddishes carry more feeling than the afternoon and evening ones.  The external factors are whether others are saying Kaddish, and, if so, the pace at which it is being recited.

The most powerful Kaddishes of the week are at the Shabbat morning service I attend, along with a small group of about 25 others. I am the only one reciting Kaddish.  When I recite Kaddish with this minyan, I usually feel tears welling up, though they have yet to spill out.  My words are spoken with  trembling.  I wonder if I will become so overwhelmed that completing the Kaddish will be difficult, the way it often was when I recited Kaddish at the Shiva.  Perhaps the emotions that accompany these Shabbat morning Kaddishes come from the facts that all eyes are upon me,  I'm in a more relaxed state, I can say Kaddish at whatever pace I feel like, and I feel so comfortable with those with whom I'm praying.

At services last Friday night, I was the only one saying Kaddish other than the Rabbi in a group of over 100, with my son by my side, an overwhelming experience.  I don't think it has much to do with the actual text of the Kaddish.  Rather, it is public confession and communal acknowledgement of my loss that triggers the tears that fill my eyes.

No comments:

Post a Comment