Whenever possible, it is ideal for mourners themselves to take on the obligations of saying Kaddish in synagogue three times daily, learning Mishnah, and saying Yizkor at the proper times. If you are able and willing to do these – wonderful! Use our resources and contact us if you need help figuring out what to do and how.
However, for a variety of reasons, this isn’t always possible. In today’s busy world, many mourners cannot commit to ‘doing the right thing’ on a regular basis for their loved ones, as much as they’d like to. In cases like these, JewishDeathAndMourning.org provides you a much-needed option – performing the prayers and rituals for the soul of the departed, on your behalf.
How can you pray/study for my deceased relative? First of all, all Jews are connected. We share a heritage, a homeland, and a history. We celebrate together and mourn together. When Jews are in danger in Russia, American Jews step forward to help. When something happens in Israel, Jews from around the world are concerned, worried, and pour out their hearts in prayer. We have been one big family - for thousands of years. Furthermore, in this case the connection is even closer: you are arranging for us to pray/study for the deceased on your behalf. So although life is busy and you cannot be there every day, you are involved in what is going on – it is almost as if you are performing the prayer/study yourself.
Why do I pay for you to pray? There are two main reasons why mourners pay for the various services listed here;
(1) Practical: These activities take time and commitment. Undertaking them is a serious responsibility. We work with honest and responsible members of the community who take on the commitment with sincerity and integrity. The same reasons why many mourners feel that they cannot take on the responsibility themselves (too difficult, too hard to arrange, too much of a commitment…) are the same reasons we provide a small stipend to enable our team to do it – and do it right – day in, day out;
(2) Spiritual: Interestingly, in our tradition, when a mourner cannot say Kaddish or learn Mishnah for the deceased, it is better to pay for this service than to somehow have it arranged for free. Consider that, "If the deceased has no relatives to recite Kaddish for him, someone should be hired to do so. It brings more merit to the deceased if the person takes payment than if he does not" (Mourning in Halachah, p.362, ArtScroll/Mesorah Publications, Ltd.). One way of understanding this is that a large part of the real merit for deceased in the Kaddish and Mishnah study is not the words of prayer or study themselves – as much as those are beautiful and important – but actually the effort put in by the mourner themselves. In other words, I am helping the memory of the deceased by investing my time into being a better Jew and making the world a better place. If I cannot donate my time, at least I can donate some money to show that I take the soul seriously.
Surrogate Mishnah Study
At JewishDeathAndMourning, we recognize every individual as a unique and singular personality. Contact us at 888-6-KADDISH to customize a a course of prayer and study specific to your particular, individualized needs.
All contributions are tax deductible.