Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Kaddish defeats Hurricane Sandy

Last night I went to a Shiva home to daven Mincha and Ma'ariv. His mother died last week. The Shiva began last Wednesday and ended this morning. In between a major storm hit New York, Hurricane Sandy. By Sunday evening the weather was getting quite iffy. The winds were gusting at over 40 miles per hour. Trees were swaying. Branches were crashing down. I'd thought about going over to the Shiva home, which was only two blocks from my home, but when I looked outside, I decided to say my prayers at home. Had I still been saying kaddish I would have had a more difficult decision: whether to make sure I fulfilled my kaddish obligation or err on the side of my own personal safety. I probably would have decided (and my wife would have urged me) that my life was more important than my mother's soul.

After the service yesterday evening at the mourner's home, I asked him whether he had gotten a minyan (quorum of ten) for each prayer service. I was expecting a negative answer given the extraordinary weather. But he told me there was a minyan for every service. Such is the power of kaddish. Not even Hurricane Sandy dissuaded the faithful from making sure this man had a minyan to say kaddish during his Shiva.

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