Is it halachically permissible to recite El Maleh Rahamim for a non-Jewish relative?

  • 1
    I presume the same concept applies torahmusings.com/2013/04/kaddish-for-a-gentile Dec 29, 2020 at 2:42
  • Rabbi Maurice Lamm in his book 'The Jewish Way in Death' accessible here - archive.org/details/jewishwayindeath00lamm/page/82/mode/2up pp.82-82 writes: "There is no obligation upon a person who had converted to Judaism to mourn his non-Jewish parents in the prescribed Jewish manner. While it is expected that the convert will show the utmost respect for his natural parents he is, nonetheless, considered detached from them religiously."
    – Dov
    Dec 29, 2020 at 14:38
  • I don't know where saying the 'Kel Malei Rachamim' prayer fits within this analysis, but he does suggest saying some tehillim (psalms) for the deceased above that of reciting Kaddish
    – Dov
    Dec 29, 2020 at 14:40

1 Answer 1


While not a halachic source, per se, the Gemara in Yevamos 46b discusses the Tevilah and Milah as being prerequisites to being "נכנס תחת כנפי השכינה". Considering the text of the Kel Malei (המצא מנוחה נכונה תחת כנפי השכינה) it stands to reason that one cannot recite this tefillah for non-Jews, who have not performed Tevilah and Milah (two requirements for conversion).

  • 1
    Some say על כנפי השכינה
    – b a
    Dec 29, 2020 at 15:59

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