[Avodah] Kaddish Yasom

Kenneth Miller via Avodah avodah at lists.aishdas.org
Mon Jul 6 18:14:59 PDT 2015

I noted about Kaddish Yasom
> From what I've seen, it is NOT said even if a minyan says Birkas
> Hamazon,

R' Zev Sero asked:

> Why would it?

Well, I guess my original post should have had a longer introduction. I know that Kaddish Tiskabel has a very clear rule, namely that it follows every Amidah, and the only exception is that it also follows Selichos. Kaddish D'rabanan always follows group learning (though I've never figured out exactly what learning counts and what doesn't).

And now I'm trying to figure out the rule for Kaddish Yasom. It SEEMS to be a sort of "congregational prayer", where "prayer" is something *other* than the Amidah, but I can't define it any more precisely than that. For a long time I thought it was connected to Tehillim, but when I noticed it after the megilos on Yom Tov, someone suggested that it's not specifically Sefer Tehillim, but *any* part of Kesuvim, not that we had any idea why Kesuvim would get this distinction over Neviim or Torah.

I wrote:
> but it IS said when a minyan says Kiddush Levana.

RZS suggested:
> Probably because people are used to saying it after Alenu.

Maybe, and maybe not. I have a suspicion that Alenu was added *because of* the Kaddish, and not the other way around. Here are some data points: The Hirsch siddur has Tehillim 67 as the last paragraph of Kiddush Levana, with nothing at all after it. My Minchas Yerushalayim, and Birnbaum too, end with Tehillim 67 which is then followed by Kaddish Yasom, without Alenu. Is it possible that Alenu is a recent addition to the Kiddush Levana?

I wrote:
> It is NOT said when a minyan says Tehillim even as an organized
> group,

RZS asked:
> Where have you seen it not being said then?  I'm surprised that
> this is your experience.

In my current community, and also from my memories of yeshiva. When there was some sort of tzara that we said Tehillim for -- whether for a choleh, or some military or political problem -- we would say the Tehillim deemed appropriate by the leaders, and this would be followed by tefillos such as Acheinu and/or Mi Sheberach(s). I don't recall Kaddish ever being part of this.

I have to admit that a big part of my asking this question is a pet peeve that I've been nursing, regarding Kiddush Levana in particular. It seems to me that Kiddush Levana -- the way it is done in just about every situation I've ever seen -- cannot be called a Tefilas Tzibur in any sense. It is a group of yechidim who happen to be saying the same thing, but in a totally disorganized fashion. The first one out of shul begins as soon as he finds a good location, and the last one out of shul also begins when he finds a good location. No attempt whatsoever is made to get this group to be on the same page, let alone in the same paragraph. There is no leader (like we have in Hallel and Pesukei Dzimra and everywhere else) who lets everyone know what the group is up to, so that they might end in unison. Rather, one person ends Alenu out loud, and that's when the yesomim say kaddish, regardless of whether they are only halfway though, or already finished before.

So that's one of the reasons why I'm wondering why Kiddush Levana gets a kaddish.

Akiva Miller
Want to place your ad here?
Advertise on United Online

More information about the Avodah mailing list