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Kaddish for childless woman

Rabbi Yoel LiebermanShevat 19, 5772
284
Question
I am a 59 year old married woman. I was single until I married a widower about 8 years ago and do not have children. I have a brother and a sister -- both not Orthodox. When I die, does somebody have to say kaddish for me for a month or the 11 months? I know from past experience that my brother would not do this. So, please let me know in that case how often it must be said. I would pay somebody. Also, for how many years, if any, would somebody have to say kaddish on the date of my yahrtzeit? Thank you very much.
Answer
Firstly, allow me to wish you a very healthy and long life. I assume it is obvious and therefore you did not raise this possibility that if your husband lives longer than you, he may say kaddish,. If your father is still alive and will live longer than you, than your father should say kaddish. If this is not an option someone should be hired to say kaddish. It brings more merit to the deceased is someone is paid. (Mourning in Halacha 39:26). This may also be done by a Torah institution which in addition to the saying of kaddish, there would be the great merit of Torah being learned in your memory. According to Gesher Hachaim,(chap.30: 9,4) it is proper that kaddish be said 12 months .Although, children say kaddish for their parents only 11 months that is out of respect to their parents. Since the judgment of "rsha'im" is twelve months and it is improper that the children should consider their parents rsha'im. However, this does not apply by others who are not children. However, some have the custom of saying 11 months. I am not aware of a defined minhag of how many years the Yahrtzeit should be kept. Once again I wish you a happy and healthy long life.
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