Is there a preference for a grandson or for another person to say kaddish if the son is indisposed?

I am asking this generally, although I was motivated by the following scenario:

I have yahrzeit for my mother in a week's time. I am suffering from a severe disc problem and may not be able to get to shul. Is it better to ask my son to say kaddish for my mother (his grandmother) or should I ask someone else? My son has never been an aval and his natural feeling is that he shouldn't say kaddish while his parents are alive.

  • 6
    Get well soon!!
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 14:13
  • 5
    You should consider just studying extra Torah that day or giving extra charity.
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 14:29
  • 2
    Refuah shelemah and may this Torah learning be in the merit of your mother `A"H.
    – Lee
    Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 15:09
  • 2
    I did say kaddish for an aunt who had no children at the request of my mother (while both parents were alive). He can say it for your mother at your request, but it may be better to have someone who has already said kaddish for a parent do so. That way he does not have the feeling that he is putting you in a bad position. Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 19:57
  • 1
    Mi Yodeya! Can you edit your question to make it less personal? We try to avoid practical halachic questions. You might also want to see "Why is it necessary to ask a rabbi?" for more info. We hope to see you around!
    – MTL
    Commented Mar 21, 2017 at 17:27

1 Answer 1


The father of a guy in our minyan is not Shomer Mizwot and his father (i.e. the original guy's paternal grandfather) passed away. I asked my Rav if the guy in our minyan can recite Qaddish in memory of his paternal grandfather in place of his father - may he live and be well.

My Rav replied:

  1. He must request permission from his father (whose father passed away)
  2. He should recite Qaddish `Al Yisra'el year-round
  3. He should recite Qaddish Yehe Shelama during the week in which his paternal grandfather passed away
  4. He should hold a Se`udat Azkarah (memorial meal) in honor of his paternal grandfather on the day he passed away

Based on my Rav's ruling, I would suggest:

  1. Explicitly granting your son permission to recite Qaddish in honor of your mother
  2. Having your son recite all of the Qaddishim which you would have recited yourself

In other words, all other things equal (including the assumption that your son will be able to properly recite Qaddish), there is no need to delegate the Qaddish to anyone other than your son - may you all live and be well.

As always, CYLOR.

  • My father has specifically asked me to say kaddish when there is no avel in schul. Unfortunately, that is rarely the case. Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 15:33
  • While this only discusses males, you may need the Kaddish-sayer to get permission from both of his parents.
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 17:51
  • The OP did not specify whether he is Ashkenazi or Sephardi. The Rav cited above appears to be giving instructions according to the Edot Hamizrach. The OP should follow his own customs and CYLOR.
    – Epicentre
    Commented Feb 21, 2017 at 6:38
  • @Epicentre I don't see how you inferred that from my answer or what your comment added. I too ended by stating clearly to CYLOR.
    – Lee
    Commented Feb 23, 2017 at 22:17

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