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How long do I say kaddish for?


Shalom Rabbi. I have a serious problem. My mother passed away last year. I’ve been saying Kadish for her soul ever since 3 times a day plus when I go to the graveyard. On may the 10th is exactly 11 months since her departure. I have heard from some Rabbis different opinions when to stop saying Kaddish. Some say after 11 months since no person can be so evil to keep it until the full year has passed. Others say no, 12 months strictly for everyone. My mom was a pious woman who, except once, didn’t commit any serious sin. She was too young then an unexperienced enough to have been persuaded by my late father to undergo abortion a year after my birth, with a new child carrying. He was a real rasha, and I mean it, and he left us almost immediately after that. I am sure that she repented 1000 times since then. She was known for unselfishness and donated to poor whenever she could and not just that. Though a little bit “harsh on adges” her heart was of gold and she was devout to G-d and I am sure she is now in His presence. So Rabbi, please give me a good proof about when to stop saying Kaddish. Please reply as soon as possible tha time is lacking. Thanks a lot.


Hamakom yinachem eschem btoch sa’ar aveilei tzion v’yerushalayim.

Regarding your question, let’s first understand what this 11 or 12 months is about. The reason a child says kaddish for a parent is to save them from the pains of gehinnom, which lasts for 12 months for the wicked. The Rema says that the custom is that the child only says kaddish for 11 months because we don’t assume that the parent was indeed a rasha. If however a child knows that his parent was a rasha, then he should say kaddish for 12 months. I don’t know who your mother was, therefore I can’t say anything specific except what the general rule is, and that is that it is said for 11 months. I don’t know why the Rabbi said that everyone has to say it, as he might have a reason that I am not aware of.

Best Wishes


Rema Y:D 376-4, PIshei Teshuva Y:D 376-9, Igros Moshe Y:D 4-61 (6).

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