It is customary to bow at certain points when saying kaddish. The link is to a chabad site and I have seen bowing in other communities as well. At first sight (excuse pun) it appears to be a visual cue for the response.

Why is it done?

What is the source?

  • Shulhan Aruch Siman 56, Shut Ish Masliah vol. 1. Apr 16, 2012 at 20:45

2 Answers 2


Sefer HaKadish page 213 note 2 brings in the name of the Pardes HaGodol in the name of the Rokeach that we bow 4 times in Kadish in connection with the 4 names in Malachi 1:11 (3 times Shemi and once Hashem Tzevakos)

  • You have an answer to this question if you want to write it up. Dec 3, 2014 at 19:50

The earliest source I can find is the Tur (end of 56) who mentions that "Rav Nachshon wrote that there are 4 obligatory bowings, and one optional."

He then continues with an explanation for the 5 - corresponding to 5 names of Hashem... but since I don't understand what he wrote, I cannot transcripe it.

  • Did you check the Beit Yosef there? He usually quotes earlier sources surrounding the Tur's rulings.
    – Double AA
    Oct 21, 2012 at 15:42

You must log in to answer this question.

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