Sign up ×
Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm saying kaddish for my mother-in-law. Occassionally, I walk into shul and the congregation is already in the middle of the Rabbi's Kaddish (say at Y'he sh'may raba"). Can I join in that kaddish at all, or have I lost out? If I can join, do I quickly say the parts I missed and try to catch up, or do I pick up from where the other mourners are at? What if I arrived on time, but I'm at a different point in the service?

share|improve this question
related – Double AA Jan 7 '13 at 15:45
I would expect that you cannot join in because 1) Kaddish concludes a section of prayer - you weren't there for the preceding section (presumably Korbanot etc or Patach Eliyahu) 2) The main section is the response "Y'he Shmei Raba etc." Does anyone have an actual halacha? – Epicentre Jan 8 '13 at 5:51
Loosely related:… – Monica Cellio May 9 '13 at 15:01

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

This Jewish Mourning Guide makes the following points about Kaddish – please see his references:

Ashkenazi Poskim (torah authorities) hold that L’Chatchilah (preferably), only one person should say each Kaddish (prayer said on behalf of the deceased)[15]. The Rema[16] and Bi’ur Halachah[17] give the order of precedence. To avoid fights, many places allow all the Avelim (mourners) to say Kaddish together.[18] However, they must say it together word-for-word,[Gesher HaChaim item 12, p 299]

…(the rest of the Mourning Guide needs careful study).

If you come late it will not be possible to say the Kaddish together with the others word for word. So it seems that you should give up on that kaddish.

When I was saying Kaddish, someone told me how many kaddeshim I had to say. My Rov told me that it was only necessary to say one Kaddish per day.(!)

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.