The power of Kaddish

The power of Kaddish


This story took place in the early 1970s in Jerusalem. As the story goes, a pious woman didn't spare her modest earning and regularly gave tzedakah to benefit the synagogue and to ensure saying of Kaddish Yatom for her son.

Sometimes she would receive additional payment on account of the holidays or as a bonus payment for a work well done. One time, she was thinking excitedly about how to spend her extra money so that it would bring her real joy. As she was taking her usual route to the synagogue to donate tzedakah one sudden thought has crossed her mind: «I do my duties every day and donate money for the needs of the synagogue to make sure someone recites Kaddish for my son. But who will recite Kaddish for all the lonely people who don't have anybody to say memorial prayer for them or to donate money so that somebody else could recite it?». And so she decided: «Perhaps, I should donate twice as much so that people would say Kaddish for some lonely man who doesn't have anybody to do it for him».

And so one time she was going out of the women's section of synagogue after reading Kaddish in honor of her son and lonely people. A respectable man came up to her and asked what does she do every time in the woman's section during the service, for women are not obliged to attend every service. She said that she comes to the synagogue every day to donate a small sum so that they would read Kaddish for the elevation of the soul of her only son. She told him about the second Kaddish for the soul of a lonely man that she also donates for. The man asked for her name. After she answered, he took out a chequebook and drew a cheque in her favor saying that she should go to the bank and receive a sum from his account. The woman thanked him, took the cheque and left.

After asking the neighbors for directions to the bank, the woman went there on the next day, entered the building, stood in front of the counter and passed the bank worker the cheque that the man from the synagogue gave her. The bank worker was shocked to see the amount on the cheque and said to her: We should go to the senior officer as I don't have the authority to cash a sum that big. And so they went to the senior bank worker.

The worker was no less shocked upon seeing the amount of the cheque and he told the woman that she has to go to the head of the bank to get his approval to cash a sum that big. Once this senior worker approached and showed the head of the bank the cheque, the latter instantly stood up and asked loudly: Who brought this check? The senior worker said it's been a woman who is now in his office. The bank director has instantly ordered for her to come immediately to his office. As she was on her way, he took a chair so that the woman could sit on it when she comes. «Could you please tell me please who gave you this cheque and when did you receive it?» he asked woman. The woman narrated the story in all the details - about her unusual encounter at the synagogue and about additional Kaddish that she ordered in honor of a lonely dead person.

And then the bank director said to her: "Please look at the portrait of a man on this wall. Was it the same man who gave you this check?" And so the woman said that this was exactly the same man who gave her this cheque in person. The bank director burst out sobbing upon hearing that. He then told the woman that it was his father who was in charge of this bank for 30 years and that he recently passed away and handed over the reins of power to him. Woefully, he didn't recite Kaddish since his father died and so his soul remained  abandoned since it wandered off to a better place. The director then tearfully addressed the woman with the words full of sorrow and repentance: From this day on you can live in my house, you will always be welcome at our table and I will always take care of all your expenses. It was so wrong of me not to recite Kaddish for my deceased father! You will always be blessed for saving my father by making people read Kaddish for him... and you'll also be blessed for waking up my soul and returning it to the righteous path! May the G-d bless you and bestow his grace upon you in this world and in the world to come!