Kaddish is undoubtedly Judaism's best-known prayer. Ask people even remotely knowledgeable about Jewish practice and they will tell you that Kaddish is the 'prayer for the dead.' A touching prayer. An emotional prayer. Is there a son or daughter who could stand at the bier of a parent without a twinge of remorse for duty unfulfilled? Whether in lands of oppression or of opportunity, the name Kaddish evokes filial sensitivity and Jewish feeling that had lain dormant in the face of all else. Yes, Kaddish is our best-known prayer and least understood! For it contains not a word about death or guilt or nostalgia. Rather it is a declaration of faith in Israel's national purpose, of confidence in the ultimate triumph of the ideals for which heaven and earth were created, of longing for the time when people, all people, will accept the spiritual mission that transcends death and gives meaning to life. The Kaddish presents this beautiful prayer in all its implication, background, and meaning. It is a beautiful book, an inspiring and immensely readable treatise on life, hope, and dedication. To read this book is to feel elevated, to stand taller, and to face the trials of life with more strength. And to acquire a precious slice of the eternal Jewish heritage of spirituality and values that outlast current events and the passing parade of fashionable opinion.
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