Congregation Beth Shalom
Clifton Park

What Are We Saying When We Are Praying?

A New Discussion Group from Brenda Sugarman

On Tuesday, December 5th, “What Are You Saying When You Are Praying?” had its second meeting at Brenda Sugarman’s home. Thirteen of us gathered for a wonderful discussion and were treated to some delicious snacks and tea.

To summarize very briefly, we discussed the Kaddish and the various forms of Kaddish such as the Mourner’s Kaddish, the Hatzi Kaddish and the Kaddish Shalem. We discussed why we say the Mourner’s Kaddish twice during the service and also looked at various translations and interpretations of Kaddish. Interestingly, the Mourner’s Kaddish does not mention death or dying. Rather it is an affirmation of the holiness of God and the wonder of life. The requirement of a minyan, or 10 people present, to recite Kaddish generated various opinions. Written primarily in Aramaic, the Kaddish focuses on the sanctification and glorification of God’s name. “Kaddish” means “holy” in Aramaic.

We will be continuing the discussion on Tuesday, January 2nd, to continue our discussion of the prayers we say during Kabbalat Shabbat. Please join in the discussion and everyone is welcome! Please bring a siddur with you. If you are interested in attending, please e-mail Brenda.

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