December 17, 2014 – 25 Kislev 5775

I recently had the pleasure of working with an Orthodox lawyer in New York. He was very helpful in assisting me to make a mid-day mincha minyan near his office and that got us talking about saying kaddish etc. He started following this blog and this week sent me the following series of emails – right on point!

The first email

Hi Judd: 

As you know, all the planning or as we say “Man tracht and got lacht” (man plans and G-D laughs). 

So, we came to Israel, a makeup trip from the summer. 

I have Yartzheit for my mother the first night of Chanukah and for my father, the second night. Since I had to be back before Chanukah, for other reasons, I made sure to plan my trip and flights. We planned a 9:40 am flight back today from Ben Gurion, arriving in New York at 3:40 pm New York time. We checked out of the King David at 7:00 am and arrived at Ben Gurion at 7:40. We have VIP service, so check in is a breeze. At check in we were informed our flight is delayed 6 hours. We will not get to New York until 8:30 pm tonight. In the event I do not make maariv, please say kaddish for my mother (Rochel Bat Zvi). 

It’s funny; your blog discusses the craziness during the 11 months. Believe me, it continues forever. Since the Yartzheits are on Chanukah, I had to visit the cemetery before we left.  

It’s a good thing because we keep the memories of our parents and what we must and want to continue to do for them. 

Thank you.


The second email

So, after all of the agitah and planning, there was no minyan on the plane. No minyan at JFK. However, we landed at JFK at 7:30. We were off the plane and through Global Entry by 8:00, retrieved our luggage and went through final customs in 5 minutes. My son picked us up. We live 20 minutes from JFK. There was no traffic and we unloaded the car, light a Yartzheit candle as well as Chanukah candles with enough time for me to go to shul and say kaddish myself. 

The Halacha requires only one kaddish a day. It can easily be accomplished by one minyan. However, there are many people who want to obligate themselves to all three minyanim a day. It’s certainly not easy. And once again, it doesn’t end after eleven months. The Yartzheit is only one day every year. Making it should not be difficult. Yet, as you can see from my experience, this year posed a problem for me. 

I asked a few people to “cover” for me, just in case I didn’t make it. And for all of you, Yasher Koach.  

May your Mother’s Neshoma continue to have an alyiah in Shmayim.



Of course, I had Kenny’s mother in mind as I recited kaddish and I am confident that the others he asked did as well.

What an appropriate way to start Chanukah – the holiday that reminds us that even in the most difficult of times there is a heavenly light that guides us through the darkness. It applies to saying kaddish too.



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