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From the Archive /
Kaddish in the Kibbutz

At the outside the kibbutz was characterized by ideological disregard of religion and tradition.

In some of the kibbutzim it was not customary to say Kaddish on the grave of a diseased, and the kibbutz burial ceremony included mostly a personal eulogy, reading appropriate poetry and prose. However in some of the kibbutzim there arose a need for a fixed text, a version of Kaddish that would be said during mourning ceremonies.

In several kibbutzim attempts were made to write a Kaddish that would express the spirit and the beliefs of the members. Over the years, during the discussions and arguments about Kaddish, when in many kibbutzim the traditional Kaddish was read, the objectors to the traditional Kaddish saw it as a religious ceremony which did not include the achievements of the individual, praises the creator of the universe and also raised the kibbutz-humanist values.

On the other hand those in favour of reading the traditional Kaddish claimed that the traditional text enables the connection and the affinity with the Jewish tradition from previous generations and all of Israel, and the harmony of the ancient text has the ability to touch on the emotional level, over and above the content of the words.

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