A Prayer for the Depressed

[image: Sadness, by T. Willson; © 2009 T. Willson CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]

Sadness, by T. Willson; © 2009 T. Willson CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Today, for Wishcasting Wednesday, Jamie Ridler asks, “What do you wish to make room for?” Like most people, I have so much stuff, both physically and figuratively, it’s hard to make room for anything. But what I really want to make room for today is the following blog post, which I’ve wanted to write. But I haven’t had the space for it.

So today, I’m giving up my typical Wishcasting Wednesday post in order to talk about the Mourner’s Kaddish as a prayer for the depressed.

Even if you’re not jewish, you may remember the Mourner’s Kaddish from Yentl, or from the beginning of the X-Files episode, “Kaddish.” This is a prayer, spoken or chanted in Aramaic, that Jews say in remembrance of a dearly departed, during the eleven months following his death, and also on its anniversaries.

But the prayer itself never mentions death. Rather, it is a prayer of life, of encouragement, of peace, praising God, celebrating how great and wonderful He is.

These are wonderful thoughts with which to fill your mind after the passing of a loved one, because they help you to put your grief in perspective, to remember that despite how sad you feel, God is still good, and he’s still good to you.

What I’m about to suggest is definitely not orthodox. It isn’t even reformed. It has not been vetted or approved by any rabbi. But I personally have found it to be of comfort.

That not only are the words of the Mourner’s Kaddish appropriate as a religious rite, for the death of a loved one, but also do they comfort when you’re feeling down, for any reason. Because the depression we feel when a loved one dies is similar to the depression we feel when we are overwhelmed by circumstance and need. They call it “clinical depression,” but one of its most effective treatments is simply to turn your attention outward, to friends, to community, to God, not in bitterness, but in hope.

May each of us who faces sadness find encouragement in these words.

-TimK


The Mourner’s Kaddish

In English… In Aramaic…
Glorified and sanctified be God’s great name, Amen, יִתְגַּדַּל וְיִתְקַדַּשׁ שְׁמֵהּ רַבָּא אָמֵן
Throughout the world which He has created according to His will. בְּעָלְמָא דִּי בְרָא כִרְעוּתֵהּ
May He establish His kingdom in your lifetime and during your days, וְיַמְלִיךְ מַלְכוּתֵהּ בְּחַיֵּיכוֹן וּבְיוֹמֵכוֹן
And within the life of the entire House of Israel, וּבְחַיֵּי דְכָָל בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל
Speedily and soon; and let us say, Amen. בַּעֲגָלָא וּבִזְמַן קָרִיב וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן
May His great name be blessed forever and to all eternity. יְהֵא שְׁמֵהּ רַבָּא מְבָרַךְ לְעָלַם וּלְעָלְמֵי עָלְמַיָּא
Blessed and praised, and glorified, and exalted, and extolled, יִתְבָּרַךְ וְיִשְׁתַּבַּח וְיִתְפָּאַר וְיִתְרוֹמַם וְיִתְנַשֵּׂא
And honored, and adored, and lauded, be the name of the Holy One—blessed be He— וְיִתְהַדָּר וְיִתְעַלֶּה וְיִתְהַלָּל שְׁמֵהּ דְּקֻדְשָׁא בְּרִיךְ הוּא
Beyond all blessings and songs, לְעֵלָּא מִן כָּל בִּרְכָתָא וְשִׁירָתָא
Praises and consolations, spoken of in the world; and let us say, Amen. תֻּשְׁבְּחָתָא וְנֶחֶמָתָא דַּאֲמִירָן בְּעָלְמָא וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן
May there be abundant peace from heaven, and life יְהֵא שְׁלָמָא רַבָּא מִן שְׁמַיָּא וְחַיִּים
For us and for all Israel; and let us say, Amen. עָלֵינוּ וְעַל כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן
He who makes peace in His heights, may He make peace עֹשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם בִּמְרוֹמָיו הוּא יַעֲשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם
For us and for all Israel; and let us say, Amen עָלֵינוּ וְעַל כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן

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Comments

Years ago I heard Allen Ginsberg read his Kaddish for his mother. There are many things I hate about Ginsberg, but that reading of that poem? Oh my! So powerful. Not a dry eye in the house.

thank you for making the wish to make room for this post, it is very moving.

As Tim wishes for himself, so I wish for him also.

What’s so cool about this wish is it’s already come true!

As Tim wishes for himself, I wish for him also.
Blessings and thank you for sharing!

As Tim wishes for himsefl, so I wish for him also.

What a lovely post for you to share! Thank you for this prayer.

[…] and LaWednula and Grammy and the Tabithas and so many others like them, like me.  Women, Men (Tim!), Bright Human Souls standing around a digital cauldron casting our wishes, hopes and dreams into […]

Hi Tim….Thank you for posting this wonderful prayer!! I hope your week is going well!!!
As Tim wishes for himself, I wish for him also.
Blessings and Namaste, Sarah

As Tim wishes for himself, so I wish for him also.
I loved reading this Tim. It made me feel peaceful.

Thank You!

As Tim wishes for himself, so I wish for him also.

Tim, that is beautiful. I knew what that Kaddish was, but strangely, I had never read it — even though I had a year long Judaism class at a local Temple!

I find it very uplifting. I love the rhythms. Again, thank you!

Hi Tim,

I am glad you wrote about this so I could read this wonderful prayer. You helped me learn something new today, one of my goals for adventurous living. Thank you! May you & the rest of the world have abundant peace…

Giulietta the Muse

As Tim wishes for himself..I wish for him also! Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment today!

oops..sorry..that M was Me!

As Tim wishes for himsefl, so I wish for him also.

What a lovely post for you to share! Thank you for this prayer as I have heard this but never read it. My mother’s side of the family is Jewish and never once has then ever been talked about…Wishing you a very peaceful evening!~

As Tim wishes for himself, so I wish for him also.

Thank you for sharing this beautiful prayer today. Thank you also for the reminder that it helps to step outside ourselves when we are feeling down.

Thank you for commenting on my blog. Many blessings!

As Tim wishes for himself, so I wish for him also.
I am late in joining but I wish your dreams to come true.

Thanks Tim, I really appreciate your view on this. I love the idea of ‘mourning’ for depression… of moving ‘outward.’ thanks for this perspective.

As Tim wishes for himself, so too do I wish for Tim.

Tim, you seem to have hit a nerve.
This kaddish that you quote for us is truly beautiful. It reminds of some of the classic old Celtic prayers.
It is so refreshing to be washed with a new way of praying.
May the Holy One – blessed be He – sing it over your heart.

As Tim wishes for himself, I so wish for him as well….

Hey, thanks for all the wonderful comments, guys. i read and enjoyed every one of them. Thanks.

-TimK

This was a beautiful post to read. Thank you for making space for it!

As Tim King wishes for himself and others, so I wish for them also. 🙂

Excellent, excellent post, Tim. It’s a wonderful prayer, and getting one’s mind onto the bigger picture is always a help in sorrow. Thanks for this.

As Tim wishes for himself, so I wish for him also.
Beautiful!

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