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Aveiulus and Kaddish

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Rabbi David Sperling

Iyyar 26, 5774
Question
for a death that occured this year on 21 Teves 5774 (24 December 2013) and with the Levaya on 22 Teves 1/ is Mincha on Friday 21 Cheshvan 5775 (14 November 2014) the last Kaddish taking into account the leap year 2/ is the year of Aveilus over on Shabbes 21 Kislev 5775 (13 December 2014) again taking into account the leap year 3/ the first Yahrzeit is on 22 Teves 5775 (the day of the Levaya on the previous year) with subsequent Yahrzeits on 21 Teves? Can you please confirm that all above is correct? Thank you
Answer
Shalom, Thank you for your question. Kaddish is recited for 11 months from the day of the burial – which in your case, as there were two Adars because of the leap year, ends on Mincha of Friday the 21st of Cheshvan 5775, as you wrote. Even though there are opinions that state that when the last kaddish is said on a Friday, one continues to say kaddish also on Shabbat, as there is no punishment for the souls on Shabbat – the general practice is to say the last kaddish on Friday at Mincha. You are correct that the 12 months of mourning are not lengthened because of the leap year, and end, in your case, on the 21st of Kislev – 12 months from the day of the burial. The Yahrzeit is determined from the day of death, and not the day of burial – and so will be on the 21st of Tevet, and not as you wrote on the 22nd (see Shulchan Aruch, Orech Haim, 568:8). Even though there is some discussion of marking the date from the time of burial, this only applies when there were a number of days that passed between the death and the burial – and also this never applies in a leap year. May you be merit to be blessed with only good tidings.
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