People often talk about an obligation -- Chiyuv -- to recite Kaddish at every opportunity for some time after the death of a relative. (Which relatives are obligated and for how long does not seem particularly relevant to this discussion, though if you feel it is please include that in your answer.)

The obligation to attend a minyan ordinarily for prayers is quantified by the time one must travel to attend: 18 minutes (1 mil) out of one's way or 72 minutes (4 mil) in a direction one is already traveling anyway. (Shulchan Aruch OC 90:16) (How to best convert between mil and minutes is also not particularly relevant to this discussion.)

Does anyone quantify the obligation to recite Kaddish? Must one go further out of one's way to attend a minyan in order to recite Kaddish than one would have had to otherwise, and if so by how much? Is there some other metric to use?

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    Saying kaddish is not a Chiyuv - an obligation. It's merely one more way for a descendant to do a Mitzva - and thereby benefit the Niftar. The list of Chiyuvim is really a list of who gets preference to execute this Mitzva. That may explain why your queries are seemingly ignored by classical halachic works. Commented Aug 9, 2012 at 8:46
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    @DannySchoemann A sweeping yet sourceless statement. Have you considered that it might be a Kiyum in Kibbud Av/Em?
    – Double AA
    Commented Aug 9, 2012 at 11:48
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    @DoubleAA well since you didn't provide a source to say it's a Hiyuv... Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 15:51
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    Slightly related Maaseh Rav. I was an ovel for my mother a”h. Only one person at a time said kaddish in the shul where I davened. The Gabbai asked if I would give up a kaddish so someone else could say one for a distant relative. I agreed. A member reproved me saying I had to say three kaddeishim at Shacharis. I asked the Rav. He said the minimum requirement is one kaddish per day. Commented Mar 29, 2016 at 21:23
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    @AvrohomYitzchok Whether it's one or three, your mother I'm sure is overjoyed that you brought Shalom to that other Jew.
    – Double AA
    Commented Mar 29, 2016 at 21:38

1 Answer 1


It might be noted that Kaddish is considered to be a benefit for the neshamah of the niftar (soul of the departed) and is considered to be part of Kivud Av v'Em (under those circumstances where it applies).

As to how far you have to go or exert yourself to say kaddish, it seems it would be about the same length that you need to go to daven with a minyon. More than that, I am not aware of any sources "inside" that give a specific or additional shiur for finding a minyon to say kaddish.

However, it is also possible that a person may have obligated themselves further, by any of a number of means and even inadvertently. (See Hilchot Nedarim, and see the text of the Hadaras Nedarim that we say before Rosh Hashonah.)

Therefore, someone who finds themselves in the situation where they need to ask this question, should check with their Rav to assess the situation fully.

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    Commented Mar 5, 2019 at 15:25

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