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Kavanah During Kaddish: Proper Pronunciation

Rabbi Dovid Bendory, 17 Iyar 5766
Wall Street Shul

Listen to the audio. (14:09)


Brshut HaRav: In this simon (OC 54), we continue learning about the Kaddish. So far, we've really only been through the first section, that we must Have proper intention, proper kavanah, when entering the Kaddish. Today we're going to look at the next section. (MB 54:2)

On the surface, this section seems to focus on issues of proper pronunciation of the words in the Kaddish; though in fact, as we'll see, there is actually a deeper aspect involved. That deeper aspect has to do with proper understanding of what is going on in the Kaddish. That is to say, the first important issue in having proper kavanah when making any brachah or saying any tefillah is understanding the meaning of the words. This is the most simple kavanah you can have. Unfortunately, we often get caught up in much more complex ideas and thoughts we should have in mind when we do mitzvot, ideas that come in from Kabbalah other sources. But the very simple aspect of kavanah that we're required to have -- the most fundamental and basic aspect is an understanding of the words. In order to have understanding of the words, you certainly have to pronounce them correctly. If you're not pronouncing them correctly, there's no possible way that you're saying them with any understanding.

The Mishnah Brurah discusses the pronunciation of the first two words of Kaddish, "yitgadal v'yitkadash", which he says are properly pronounced "yitgadeil v'yitkadeish." What's the difference between them; what's going on here? The Mishna Brurah explains that these words of the Kaddish are Hebrew and thus they should be pronounced "yitgadeil v'yitkadeish." Why? Because they're based on the words from the prophet
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