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Clarification of Rabbi Akiva teaching Kaddish

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Topic: Pet, Judaism

A reader on soc.culture.jewish asks:

I liked your last issue of ASK THE RABBI. I wanted to do some more reading on the subject of Kaddish, but I couldn't find your reference to your quote about Rabbi Akiva. Also, I remember hearing that he taught the man "Borchu" instead of "Kaddish." Please help!

I'm sorry if my source list was unclear. I quoted the secondary source "Gesher Hachaim" ch. 30, because this Midrash is quoted in a number of places; and as you rightly noted there is a question as to the correct text. Some contain the word "Borchu", and others have the word "Kaddish." I chose "Gesher Hachaim" because he cites various secondary sources to show that the Midrash is indeed talking about Kaddish.

The Midrash is found in the following places:

  • Kallah Rabuta, ch. 2
  • Tana D'vei Eliyahu Zuta, ch. 17
  • Midrash on the Asseres Hadibros
  • Midrash Ruth Hane'elam
  • Zohar Ruth Hachadash
  • Zohar Chadash, Parshas Lech Lecha (according to the "Ohr Zarua")
  • Zohar, Parshas Achrei Mos (according to the "Beit Yosef")

It can also be found in the following secondary sources:

  • Rabbeinu Bachaye, Parshas Shoftim
  • Menorat Hamaor - ner aleph, clal aleph, chelek bet, perek aleph
  • The Kolbo
  • The Beit Yosef
  • The Darkei Moshe

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