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Five General Things To Know If You're Planning Kaddish Recitation Services For A Deceased Loved One

Many individuals needing to plan Kaddish recitation services for a deceased loved one are not very familiar with the Kaddish ceremony.

Often, people have grown up in the Jewish tradition but have not been to a Kaddish recitation ceremony in a long time. Also, there is the issue that Kaddish recitation is handled differently in many cases depending on which synagogue one goes to.

The following are five general things you should know about Kaddish recitation services if you are planning them but don't feel overly confident in your familiarity with how the service will proceed. 

There are different versions of the Kaddish that are read at different synagogues.

One of the number one things you need to know is that the Kaddish reading at the synagogue you schedule services with might not necessarily work exactly as you're used to.

It's good if you can talk to a friend or acquaintance who regularly attends the synagogue in question. You can then ask him or her which version of the Kaddish will be used and what you can expect at the ceremony. 

If you are coming to a recitation service on the weekend, you should dress formally in tallit and tefillin.

You should expect things to be formal in the synagogue. If it's a fairly traditional synagogue, you'll want to come dressed in a properly wrapped tallit and tefillin. These are traditionally worn during Kaddish readings that are held during morning prayers. 

You should get in touch with the rabbi before you attend a Kaddish recitation at the synagogue.

Discussing the event directly with the rabbi beforehand is a good idea. This way, you can hear from him what time the prayers will be at. Don't be afraid to ask the rabbi questions. The rabbi will be happy to offer you assistance if you seek it out. 

You should learn how to respond properly to the Kaddish beforehand.

The Kaddish recitation is a ritual that involves congregational responses. You should learn what these responses are before the ceremony so that you don't feel awkward or appear inattentive. 

There is a standing and bowing procedure that goes along with Kaddish recitation.

In addition to learning spoken responses, you also will want to know beforehand when you will be expected to stand and when you will be expected to bow. Ask a synagogue regular you're acquainted with or a rabbi about the standing and bowing part of the ceremony so that you know what to do.