DailyHalacha.com for Mobile Devices Now Available

Select Halacha by date:

Or by subject:

Or by keyword:
Search titles and keywords only
Search All    

Weekly Perasha Insights
Shabbat Morning Derasha on the Parasha
Register To Receive The Daily Halacha By Email / Unsubscribe
Daily Parasha Insights via Live Teleconference
Syrian Sephardic Wedding Guide
Download Special Tefilot
A Glossary Of Terms Frequently Referred To In The Daily Halachot
About The Sources Frequently Quoted In The Halachot
About Rabbi Eli Mansour
Purchase Passover Haggadah with In Depth Insights by Rabbi Eli Mansour and Rabbi David Sutton
About DailyHalacha.Com
Contact us
Useful Links
Refund/Privacy Policy
Back to Home Page

Click Here to Sponsor Daily Halacha
"Delivered to Over 6000 Registered Recipients Each Day"

      
(File size: 5.51 MB)
Explaining Why Kaddish is Mostly in Aramaic

The text of Kaddish, unlike virtually all other prayer texts, is written mainly in Aramaic, as opposed to Lashon Ha’kodesh (Hebrew). Although some phrases in Kaddish – such as "Yitgadal," "Yitkadash," "Yitbarach" and "Yishtabah" – are in Lashon Ha’okdesh, the majority of the text is written in Aramaic.

Tosafot (Talmud commentaries by Medieval French and German scholars) explain that the Kaddish was written in Aramaic so that the angels will not understand the recitation. Angels do not understand Aramaic, and so we recite Kaddish in this language so they do not become jealous of our recitation of these beautiful words of praises to G-d.

The Ben Ish Hai (Rav Yosef Haim of Baghdad, 1833-1909), in Od Yosef Hai (Shana Rishona, Parashat Vayehi, 1), gives a different reason (listen to audio recording for precise citation). He explains that the Kelipot (harmful spiritual forces) seek to sabotage the special spiritual effects of the Kaddish recitation, recognizing just how powerful this recitation is. Reciting Kaddish achieves "Aliyat Ha’olamot" – an elevation to the higher spiritual realms – and the Kelipot try to join this elevation in order to inflict harm. We therefore specifically recite Kaddish in a language which the Kelipot understand – Aramaic – so that they will hear the beautiful words of praise that we proclaim to Hashem, and they will be overwhelmed and subdued.

The Ben Ish Hai then proceeds to explain why the Kaddish also includes some words in "Lashon Ha’kodesh," and is not written entirely in Aramaic. He writes that when the Kelipot hear the beautiful praises in Aramaic, and then hear words in Lashon Ha’kodesh which they don’t understand, they become especially flustered – because they assume that the text which they do not understand must be many times greater than even the beautiful praises which they do understand. This combined effect of the Aramaic portions of Kaddish which the Kelipot understand, and the "fear of the unknown" triggered by the portions which they do not understand, ensure that the Kelipot will be powerless and unable to sabotage the great spiritual effects of the Kaddish recitation.


 


Recent Daily Halachot...
Asking a Non-Jew to Turn on the Heat or Air Conditioning on Shabbat
If a Non-Jew is Paid to Turn Lights on For a Jew on Shabbat
Giving Precedence to the Shabbat Day Meal Over the Friday Night Meal
Shabbat – The Prohibition Against Eating and Drinking Before Kiddush on Friday Night
Minors Eating Before Kiddush on Friday Night; Eating During Ben Ha’shemashot
Eating and Drinking Before Shaharit, and Before Kiddush on Shabbat
Reciting Kiddush Along With Somebody Else
A Woman’s Obligation of Kiddush
During Which Shabbat Meal Should One Eat His Favorite Food?
Must the Friday Night Meal Take Place Near the Shabbat Candles?
May One Wear a Surgical Mask on Shabbat in a Public Domain?
Is it Permissible to Use a Water Filter on Shabbat?
Covering the Bread on the Table for Kiddush and Habdala
If a Candle Falls on the Table During Shabbat
May One Ask a Non-Jew to Light the Shabbat Candles After Shabbat Has Started?
Page of 235
3519 Halachot found