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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.

marked as duplicate by sabbahillel, Scimonster, mbloch, Avrohom Yitzchok, Isaac Moses May 17 '16 at 14:58

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  • 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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