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The importance of saying Kaddish for the soul

The saying of the Kaddish, apart from connecting and bringing the reciter closer to our Father in Heaven, he also cherishes and honors and raises the memory of a loved one who has passed away, because every Kaddish he is cherishing and raising the memory of his father and mother or any other relative. And another main point in the saying of the Kaddish, which greatly contributes to the soul of the deceased, and raises him to heaven, as it is brought in מסכת כלה: “לפי שבשעה שהבן אומר ‘יתגדל ויתקדש’ מתירין את המת מן הפורעניות”. And it is brought by the Arizal (שער הכוונות ענין קדיש דף טו ע”ב), that the point in saying Kaddish is not only to save the soul of the dead from hell, as the majority of the people think, but it has another great benefit in bringing him to heaven, and raising him from one level to another, and that’s why it is said on Shabbat and Yom Tov, etc.

And so the words of Rabbeinu Bachya(at the end of Parshat Shoftim):
“כפר לעמך ישראל”, דרשו בפסיקתא, אלו החיים שמתכפרין בממונם [בצדקה שנותנים בעצמם]. “אשר פדית” אלו המתים, שמתכפרין בממון החיים [בצדקה שנותנים החיים לעילוי נשמתם]. ולמדנו מזה, שההקדשות שנוהגין החיים להקדישם בעד המתים שיש להם תועלת למתים. וכל שכן אם הבן מקדיש בעד אביו שהוא זכות לאביו, בהיות אוכל הבן פירותיו. והוא הדין לומר קדיש או שום ברכה בבית הכנסת בציבור, וכמו שאמרו באגדה באותו מעשה של רבי עקיבא, וכדאיתא במסכת כלה”, עכ”ל.
And in Eliyahu Zutta (end of chapter 17): “אמר רבי יוחנן בן זכאי, פעם אחת הייתי מהלך בדרך, ומצאתי אדם שהיה מלקט עצים, ודברתי עמו ולא החזיר לי דבר, ואח”כ היה בא אלי, אמר לי: “רבי! מת אני ולא חי”. ואמרתי לו: “אם מת אתה, עצים הללו למה לך?”. ואמר לי: “רבי! האזין לי מה שאומר לך דבר אחד, כשהייתי חי אני וחברי היינו עוסקים בעבירה בפלטרין שלי, וכשבאנו לכאן גזרו עלינו גזר דין של שריפה, כשאני מלקט עצים שורפין את חבירי וכשהוא מלקט עצים אזי שורפין אותי. ואמרתי לו: ” דינכם עד מתי?”. ואמר לי: “כשבאתי לכאן הנחתי את אשתי מעוברת, ויודע אני שזכר היא מעוברת, לכן בבקשה ממך הוי זהיר בו, משעה שיהיה נולד עד שיהיה בן חמש שנים הולך אותו לבית רבי למקרא, כי בשעה שהוא יאמר “ברכו את ה’ המבורך” אז יהיו מעלין אותי מדינה של גהינם”, ע”כ. הרי לפנינו מעשה נורא שרק הבן מסוגל לתרום לעילויו של אביו, ועל כגון זה אמרו חז”ל (סנהדרין קד ע”א):”ברא מזכי אבא”. פירוש, הבן מזכה את אביו.

A story that illustrates the virtue of saying the Kaddish:

And I will end with a terrible story that was witnessed by Rabbi Chaim Zonenfeld, zt’l, and was quoted in the book “האיש על החומה” (חלק א עמוד 345) and we have copied it here: A respectable woman with an established business in the city of Pressburg, Hungary, used for many years to occasionally make a decent contribution to the yeshiva, on the condition that they say a constant kaddish at the yeshiva for the uplifting of those lost souls who have no one to say kaddish after them, and the yeshiva’s management appointed a special person to say kaddish for the merit of these souls. Later, the husband of that woman passed away, and since he managed the business with her, his death affected the business, and it shrunk until it was eliminated. The woman’s financial situation was getting worse, and in the many days another burden fell on her, when her two daughters were about to get married, and money from where?

The woman bore her suffering in silence, and resigned herself to her fate. However, she could not give up on one thing, and her heart was extremely bitter, and it hurt her very much, this was the matter of keeping the Kaddish, which could be canceled since she stopped supporting the Yeshiva. The widow appealed to the management of the Yeshiva with a request to continue the observance of the Kaddish, until God expands its borders and she will return supporting the Yeshiva as before. The leaders of the Yeshiva were very moved by the sincerity and righteousness of this widow’s soul, and promised her to fulfill her request, to keep the Kaddish saying as before. This promise filled her soul with endless happiness, and when a gleam of happiness shone from her mournful eyes, she said goodbye to the leaders of the Yeshiva and turned to go her way. From now on, her condition did not bother her so much, nor did the condition of her two daughters who had to get married. Since then, she has been promised the Kaddish matter for lost souls, she lacks almost nothing in the world of God, and in the matter of her two daughters, she trusts in God, the father of orphans, who will surely see the poverty of her daughters, and arrange for their marriage and all their needs.

When she went out into the street, an old Jew with a rare facial expression, and a long white beard, came to her and greeted her with peace. The woman was surprised by the heartfelt expression of the old man’s unfamiliar face to her, her surprise increased when the old man started talking with her, taking an interest in her condition and the condition of her daughters. The woman sighed heavily, and laid before him her fate, to the point that she does not have the necessary means to marry her adult daughters.

“What is the approximate amount you need for your daughters’ marriage expenses?” asked the old man.

“Why is it important for his honor to know?” the woman replied awkwardly, and said the estimated amount.

The old man pulled out a sheet of paper, and wrote down an instruction to the local bank to pay the woman the amount she needs. However, before signing the check he expressed a wish, since it is a very large amount, it is desirable that his signature be in the presence of witnesses, who will see with their own eyes when he personally signs the check, and confirm it with their signature.

Excited and surprised by what happened, she went up to the yeshiva hall and asked two guys to accompany her. When the old man saw them, he asked them to observe how he put his signature on the payment order, and just to be sure, he asked them for a piece of paper, and wrote his signature on it as a souvenir and example. Handing the check for the considerable amount to the woman, he ordered her to go cash the check the next morning. The whole matter seemed strange to the shocked woman, what did the unfamiliar old man see to beave to her like that?! And show such generosity to the extent of covering the expenses of the marriage of her two daughters?! Nevertheless, she hurried to the bank the next day, and with a beating heart tried her luck.

When the bank clerk examined the check, he gave the woman a wondering look, looking once and twice and all embarrassed and puzzled. Expressing signs of embarrassment, he asked the woman to wait, and with the check in his hand, he entered the room of the bank manager, who was also his owner. Then something very dramatic happened… when the bank manager saw the check he fell from his chair and passed out. There was a commotion in the bank, the officials who heard about what was happening, immediately put the woman in a side room, and put a guard over her to prevent her from escaping, suspecting fraud. After the bank manager’s spirit returned, he asked to see the woman who presented the check to the cashier. When she entered, the manager asked in a panic, when and how did you receive the check?

“Just yesterday I received it from a respectable Jew, and there are even two witnesses who saw the writer of the check when he signs it,” the woman replied apologetically.

“Would you recognize the man if I show you the picture?” asked the manager.

“I will definitely recognize him, and I have no doubt that the two guys will be able to recognize him as well” she answered.

The manager ordered the portrait of his late father to be brought before him, and when the woman was shown the photo, she pointed to him without hesitation as the man who gave her the check. The manager ordered the check to be cashed, and released the woman. After she went, the manager told those present the meaning of the strange affair that unfolded before their eyes, the man who handed the check to the woman was none other than his father who passed away about ten years ago, the previous night his father appeared in his dream, and said to him in this language: “You should know! That since then you have deviated from the right path and married a non Jewish woman, and you stopped keeping the Kaddish, I did not find rest for my soul, until an unknown woman came and ordered to say Kaddish for the benefit of souls who are not said Kaddish after, this Kaddish that was said in the yeshiva according to the woman’s command caused an uplift and satisfaction to my soul, this woman will appear tomorrow in the morning at your bank, With the check I gave her to cover her two daughters’ wedding expenses.” When I got up in the morning excited by the dream, I told my wife, who scoffed at the whole thing, but when the woman appeared with the check, it was confirmed that the dream was indeed true.

And the Gaon Rabbi Chaim Zonenfeld ended: “Who were the two guys? Me and my friend Rabbi Yehuda Greenowald!

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