Are you allowed to read prayers (to catch up) while kaddish is being said? How about in between amens, yehey shemey raba and the ending amens?


1 Answer 1


The Mishnah Berurah (56:1) says that it is forbidden even to think about words of Torah during kaddish. We can make a kal vachomer that it is certainly forbidden to recite words of Torah or prayer during kaddish.

It also gives a number of stories about what evil befalls people who talk then, mentioning "the middle of kaddish", "yisgadel", "when the chazzan is saying kaddish", and "responding to kaddish", implying that one must be especially careful regarding talking during the "yisgadel" part and when responding amen. However, the very strong language used suggests that talking during any part of kaddish is wrong.

Even if one is in the middle of Shemoneh Esrei, one should pause when kaddish is being said (Rashi to Sukkah 38b). Certainly, one should not coninue with other prayers during the recital of kaddish.

  • 1
    But saying words of Torah is a bigger Kiyum than thinking them. Perhaps this ruins your KvH?
    – Double AA
    Commented May 15, 2014 at 1:38
  • @DoubleAA It's not a perfect drashah, but the argument still holds. Firstly, do we ever have a case where thinking is assur and speaking is mutar? (Besides, it's barely possible to speak Torah without thinking about them.) Secondly, the issue with the hefsek here is that it disturbs your concentration (a different reason than by birchos kriyas shema), so why would a bigger kiyum be a justification? Also, the words of Torah aren't a davar ha'aved like responding to kedushah during shema, so it's hard to imagine a heter for them. But you're right that the kal vachomer isn't watertight.
    – Ypnypn
    Commented May 15, 2014 at 1:44
  • Speaking would be a bigger distraction (and would memeila involve thinking), but perhaps the benefit gained by actually saying the Torah outweighs the loss.
    – Double AA
    Commented May 15, 2014 at 1:47
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    Are you sure its the whole kaddish
    – sam
    Commented May 15, 2014 at 15:22
  • @sam I was told it is only up to d'amiron b'olmo ve'imru Omain. Commented May 15, 2014 at 15:31

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