A question was asked here on the forum for clarification on the Chiyuv for an Avel to pray for the Amud. And in an answer that was given, the answerer provided a quote from Rabbi Neustadt:

"...for Chazal teach that when a son serves as the Sheliach Tzibbur, he is actually fulfilling the Biblical commandment of Kibbud Av V'eim by honoring the neshamah of his departed parent and alleviating its suffering in Gehenom."

Question: Why does leading the Amud alleviate suffering of the deceased?


1 Answer 1


R Yaakov Goldstein in his book The Laws & Customs of Mourning Vol. 2 writes (here online)

An Avel [who is the son of the deceased, whether the deceased is his father or mother], is to lead the prayers as Chazan for every weekday prayer, if he knows how to do so. [This applies even if there are other potential Chazanim available. He is to push himself to lead all the prayers, even if he does not have a good voice.] Having the Avel [for a parent] lead the prayers is of greater benefit [to the deceased] than the saying of Kaddish Yasom, as Kaddish Yasom was mainly instituted for children [under Bar Mitzvah] who cannot yet lead the prayers.

The reason why Davening is beneficial for the soul is not because it contains a prayer or supplication of pardon on behalf of the deceased, but simply because the son is performing a great Mitzvah by Davening and sanctifying Hashem’s name in public, and every Mitzvah a son does benefits his parent. It is understood from here that the same applies towards any Mitzvah that a child does after the passing of his parent, that it brings his parent atonement and benefits his soul.

Furthermore, learning Torah and performing charity and good deeds is of even greater benefit for the soul than Kaddish Yasom and leading the prayers, as Kaddish Yasom was mainly instituted for children [under Bar Mitzvah], and hence one must place his emphasis mainly on these activities.

See there at length for details and sources.

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