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Kaddish: The Bigger Picture

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At its core, kaddish is about the Jewish people's deep belief in a bigger picture. Think about it; if ever there was a people that would be excused for throwing up its hands and just giving up, it would be the Jewish people-but we haven't. Despite centuries of exile and wandering, we continued to believe that one day we would return to Israel, and then we did. Despite two millennia of oppression and persecution, we never stopped believing in "Next Year in Jerusalem." Today, we can walk her streets and pray that "next year" we will be witness to the complete and final return of the Jewish people to the land of Israel, and to a Jerusalem whose Temple has been restored as the spiritual center of the Jewish nation.

Jews have never been blinded by the pain of the moment, even if that moment lasted a hundred years. Jews always understood that there was a bigger picture to history, and that every event is but a stitch in the marvelously beautiful tapestry of Jewish existence. The Jewish people has not only survived, but thrived, because we live with a remarkably grand view of history.

As you study the words and come to understand Kaddish, you will discover that it is about the opposite of death. Kaddish is about the very source of life itself.
The same is true with the Jewish understanding of, and relationship to death. The loss of a loved one is a wrenching pain that tears at the deepest part of our being. Death turns the world black. Yet, even when confronting the dark void that death forces upon the living, as Jews, we never lose sight of the light. As you study the words and come to understand Kaddish, you will discover that it is about the opposite of death. Kaddish is about the very source of life itself; it's about God, and the unshakable Jewish belief that in all times, places and circumstances, God is there. If Judaism asserts anything, it asserts that God is the source of all existence and that true goodness, ultimate meaning and enduring blessing are all to be found in a God conscious - God centered life.

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