Why do some people hold a woman should not say kadish? She's not singing so it shouldn't be Kol Isha, and if she's behind a mechitza it shouldn't be a tzniut problem.

  • 2
    Maybe it would be better if you asked for both sides of the issue, instead of simply assuming that they can. Just a suggestion. – Shmuel Nov 29 '11 at 19:28
  • I think it's a chidush that she can. A woman cannot form the prerequisite quorum, yet she can lead the kaddish? – YDK Nov 29 '11 at 21:19
  • 3
    I only posed the question this way because where I daven women say Kadish, though I am aware of places and books that say she should not. Therefore I am asking for support of the practice of other communities, not my own. I'm not questioning what my shul does. And to @YDK, can you provide a source that says for a davar shebekdusha only people who make up the minyan can participate. I know for example that women can't lead a minyan - a davar shebekdush - only because of kavod hatzibur, but not because they can't form a minyan. – Mark Nov 30 '11 at 7:34
  • See pitchei teshuva Y"D 376:3 (will B"H write it up as an answer one day). – Baal Shemot Tovot Apr 4 '12 at 20:41
  • @Mark Kavod HaTzibbur is the reason women can't get an aliya (and therefore lain). I don't think that is the reason they can't lead the Chazarat HaSha"tz. I think the reason for that is indeed that they don't combine for the quorum. – Double AA May 6 '12 at 1:07

R' Brody discusses the issue on JPost's Ask the Rabbi. He cites many authorities, such as R.Y.D Soloveitchik and R.Y.Henkin, that permitted it and R.M. Feinstein who said it was common practice in Europe. However, he mentions some objections raised:

The permissive position was opposed by many decisors, who argued that (a) women could not participate in this part of the service (Minhat Yitzchak 4:30), (b) the classic mystical sources only spoke of men’s recitation (Mishpatei Uziel OC 3:13), (c) it was immodest in public settings (Aseh Lecha Rav 5:33), or (d) it would ultimately support antinomian trends found in the non- Orthodox movements (Yahel Yisrael 2:90).

It may be that in certain areas the Reform and Conservative movements cause an opposite reaction from Orthodox Jews.

  • 1
    Rabbi Hershel Schachter has stated it's entirely up to the synagogue's custom. – Shalom Nov 30 '11 at 16:50
  • 1
    One additional speculation -- some wonder if Mourners' Kaddish was originated for those who should be leading services but couldn't for whatever reason (too many mourners, orphaned children L"A). If so I could see why it wouldn't apply to women. Though as we know it today, Kaddish is about glorifying the name of G-d to make up for the loss of a life, gender-neutral. – Shalom Nov 30 '11 at 16:52
  • He discusses the origins of mourners' kaddish in the article. – Ariel K Nov 30 '11 at 17:09

Rav Moshe talks about this in Igros Moshe OC(5) 12:2. He says women did say kaddish but the tshuvah is more focused on a mechitza for one or two women .

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .