I have been wanting to write a mourner’s kaddish that would serve myself and other earth-based magickal Jews. I’ve found it difficult because I wanted to keep the core theology of the traditional, rabbinical Judaic prayer. That one is a prayer for the living. It focuses on praising God. It doesn’t really ever touch on loss or death. When I first discovered this, I found it disturbing. But, if you look at almost all the Jewish rituals surrounding death, they are to support the living. They are to help the living move on with their lives.

It seems that it took the loss of Rosemary Kooiman to give me the words.

Send me on

Send me on with love in your heart
Cry tears of joy for the life I have lived
Praise the Source of Life for connecting our lives
Send me on to the next life

Send me on the way I lived
Embrace what I was, not the space that I leave
Praise the Source of Life for allowing us to love
Send me on to the next life

Send me on without fear
Do not curse or rend your garments
Praise the Source of Life for granting us time
Send me on to the next life

Send me on with praise
Sing songs of joy for all Creation
Praise the Source of Life giving us life
Send me on to the next life

Send me on with libations and toasts
Drink to your health and drink to life
Praise the Source of Life for giving us words to share
Send me on to the next life

Send me on with stones not flowers
Do not add death to death
Praise the Source of Life for all creation
Send me on to the next life

© Carly Lesser – 2006
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5 Replies to “Kaddish”

  1. My condolences on your loss. I've just discovered your site, and I'm intrigued.

    The poem is beautiful, but I'm not sure as an alternative to the Kaddish it works for me, as it is something to be said by the living, so it would feel strange to say "send me on", since that isn't what I want. (At least not now…when it's my time.)

    I feel the poem, however, captures the spirit of what little I know of the tradition fine, with the only exception being the discarding of keriah, which I understand from context why you're doing it.

  2. John,

    Thanks for the comments and thoughts. The poem is meant to be written from the voice of the deceased person. That person is speaking to the group through this poem and asking them to send him/her on while the living get on with their lives.

    The discarding of keriah was more in tribute to the prohibition against marking the body in grief. These days, few people are going to ritually tatoo themselves when a loved one dies (except after 9/11 — but that's a different converstation).

    I wanted to capture the feeling of the traditional kaddish about moving on with life, even in great loss.

  3. Hi Carly,

    My wife's grandfather passed on this past Monday and we buried him this past Wednesday. My wife and I are the only Jews in the family. We shared your version of Kaddish with my wife's grandmother and we were all touched by it. So much it was recited at the funeral. Thank you for your beautiful insight.


    In memoriam of D. Gene Claar 26 JUL 10

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