What is the halacha on saying Kaddish for a friend? It is my understanding that this is not typically done but that there is some precedent for it to occur.

Thank you for your replies.

  • Welcome to Mi Yodeya Nancy! Thanks for sharing the question. Hope you choose to stick around the site. – mevaqesh May 17 '16 at 7:54
  • Have to research an answer, and I'm not sure if the one @sabbahillel mentioned is really a dupe. In my shul, and a number of other that I have attended, the rabbi and a few others say Kaddish for deceased congregants (Aka "those that died during service" :-o :-0 ), as usually no relative is saying Kaddish for them. I assume that you mean "daily" Kaddish during the 11 months of mourning and not Kaddish on a person's Yahrtzeit. There may be somewhat different rules, here. – DanF May 17 '16 at 13:48
  • @DanF From my experience, the rules for a Yahrtzeit are the same as for the 11 months. The main point for the year was because that tends to be more difficult and is also when it starts. – sabbahillel May 17 '16 at 15:58
  • The question is saying Kaddish for someone for a friend who may or may not even be Jewish. The congregation I attend during the winter months encourages people to say Kaddish for someone close to the congregant who has recently died. I am not familiar with this practice at all. Is is acceptable to say Kaddish for a friend at the time of the person's passing? – Nancy L May 18 '16 at 5:10

There's custom/minhag and there's halakha. The custom with which I was raised is that you don't say your first kaddish for anyone outside the relationships for which you mourn and say kaddish - parents, siblings, children, spouse. if you've already said kaddish and there's only, say, female survivors, you may say it.

BUT that's only a minhag.

  • Even if there's male relatives, often another will say Kaddish if none of the relatives go to shul 3 times a day or if someone who needs to say Kaddish will be traveling and won't have a minyan – user613 May 17 '16 at 10:22

My husband says kadish form many people who do not have others to say kadish for them he says it is a big mitzva but also a responsibility, to make sure your husband gets to the minyan on time, and does not miss a day. so that the niftar can get the full benefit of the year. for sure it would be better if the persons son said it and not a man not related to him. hope this helps... my condolences

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