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" Deep mysteries are embedded in letters, words, and phrases of Aramaic..." According to Zohar, however, we employ a secular language because subjugating "External Forces" (or chitzonim) and utilizing them as a vehicle for holiness enables us to accomplish a profound goal expressed in Kaddish: "Let His Great Name be magnified and sanctified on earth."
Another reason for reciting Kaddish in its original language, Aramaic, is that deep mysteries are embedded in letters, words, and phrases of Aramaic. Most of them we cannot fathom easily, but some are relatively accessible.
The Kaddish begins with four words Yitgadal v'yitkadash shmei rabbah (meaning "Exalted and sanctified be His great Name"). These four words parallel four letters of G-d's holiest name. This is one reason we already respond "Amen" after only four words.
The main part of response to Kaddish is line: Amen. Yihai shmai rabbah m'vorach, l'olam u'olmai umayah (meaning "May his great name be blessed forever, eternally"). This phrase contains seven words and 28 letters. The very first verse of Torah, Bereishit bara Elokim et hashamayim v'et ha'aretz ("In beginning G-d created heaven and earth"), also contains seven words and 28 letters. In addition, introductory line to Ten Commandments (Ex. 20:1), Vayadabair Elokim et kol hadevarim ha'elah, laimor ("And G-d spoke all these words, saying"), also contains seven words and 28 letters.
" This all-important seven-word sentence is followed by seven expressions of praise..." Thus, saying Kaddish includes privilege of linking to these two monumental events. The seven-word response also affirms our belief that G-d is creator of all, and also intimately involved with his creation. This all-important seven-word sentence is followed by seven expressions of praise, beginning with yisbareich (be blessed). There should be no pause between saying almaya and continuing yisbareich, etc., for wish that His Name be blessed generates immediately demand that He be forever extolled.
The Talmud and Zohar agree that responding, "Amen. May His great Name be blessed forever and ever," with vigor can nullify an adverse decree of seventy or even one hundred years." Because of this, nearly everyone calls out this response with extra intensity. Remember, it must also be said with total concentration for a decree to be annulled.
When children lead good Jewish lives, full of mitzvah observance and Torah study, this is even more meritorious for soul of parents than saying Kaddish. In fact, earliest extant records of Kaddish seem to indicate that Orphan's Kaddish was expected to be said by pre-bar mitzvah boys. From adult offspring, more is to be expected. It is even more beneficial, both for souls above and those still alive in this world, when as a result of death, offspring, other family members and all those close to deceased examine their deeds and resolve to improve accordingly. As it is written, "the living should place it upon their hearts."
And when we do, that helps to "bring forth his redemption and hasten coming of Mashiach." Amen!
Yerachmiel Tilles is the Co-founder of Ascent-of-Safed and its educational director for 18 years. He is the creator of www.ascentofsafed.com and www.kabbalaonline.org (authentic kabbalah for the masses), and currently the director of both sites. He is also a columnist for numerous chasidic publications and a staff rabbi on AskMoses.com