The Baal Shem Tov, or Besht —  the founder of Chasidism — 
met the soul of the Messiah during an ascent to heaven. 
The Besht asked him, "When will the Master come?" 
The Messiah answered, "When your wellsprings break forth to the outside!" 
(from a letter written by the Besht to his brother-in-law about one of his soul ascents) 


 

Kaddish for a Human Minyan

What does the kaddish really mean? And what can I say when there's no minyan of Jewish people?


When I was in Costa Rica after my mother died, I improvised a "secular" kaddish so that I could say kaddish under circumstances where I could gather ten people but not ten Jews. I continued to work on this kaddish when I got home. It was especially important at my boy's school, where I could often get ten parents to stay after drop-off to help me say kaddish, but some of those parents would often not be Jewish. Sharing it in that context and with people in my home community, I found that people really loved it and got a lot out of it.

You may find it useful in three ways:

1) As a kind of prayer for Creation, in the spirit of the our hope for the time when "all creatures become united in one band" to serve God, and also as an expression of a fully biocentric theology that is humanly humble.

2) As an alternative kaddish to do at any point in synagogue where people might benefit from something read in English. As such this would not be a replacement for the Aramaic kaddish that mourners say, but it might work as one of the other kaddishes that get said in a service.

3) As a way to honor and create community within a group of people who are Jewish and not Jewish -- especially when a mourner can find a minyan of ten friends but not ten Jews.


Here is the text -- you can download the most current version here.
"Kaddish for a Human Minyan"

Mourners: May the Name that fills all names be blessed and strengthened in this created world. May the Breath of Life that fills all breaths fill us with Life, and may it guide and rule our actions and visions, in our lives and in our time, now in this world, and in every moment to come. And let us say: Amen.

Everyone: Amen. May that great Name be blessed within us and in all worlds, for all time.

Mourners: May Holiness stream forth from its Source, full of blessing and beauty. May the Name that weaves all Life be blessed and praised, made beautiful and resplendent, lifted up and exalted, to the highest and most majestic…

Everyone: Blessed be!

Mourners: …beyond all the praises and blessings and songs and prayers that can ever be said in the whole world. And let us say:

Everyone: Amen.

Mourners: May the Life and Love within us and between us be strengthened. May the Breath that fills all breaths fill the Cosmos with Peace, and may Peace and Life flow to us, to our community, to all peoples, and to all beings in this world. And let us say:

Everyone: Amen.

Mourners: The One who makes Peace in the furthest reaches of Creation will bring Peace to us and to all living beings. And let us say:

Everyone: Amen.


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Design in progress © Rabbi David Mevorach Seidenberg 2006