The Kaddish, the name of the prayer for the dead, is no longer a synonym for “son” in the vocabulary of Russian Jews, as it has been for hundreds of years until the outbreak of the Communist revolution.
The generation of Russian Jews who were middle-aged when the revolution broke out can no longer entertain the hope that when their hour comes a son will stand over the grave and recite the ancient Aramaic text for the “Sanctification of the Name.” The sons, reared under the new regime and trained in the Communist schools are not only ignorant of the text but are enjoined by their political affiliation against religious ceremonies.
In despair at this condition a group of Orthodox Jews in Borisov formed an Association of Religious Jews whose purpose it is to provide its members with a “Kaddish,” someone to take the place of a son to recite the prayer. The Association has, to this end, engaged a staff of professional Kaddish sayers, who receive a weekly salary and whose duty it will be to take the place of the son when a member of the Association dies.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.