Modi’in, Israel – A Leader On Halakha And A Morah, Rachel Fraenkel Recites Kaddish While Rabbis Say “Amen”

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    Avi (C) and Rachel (R) Frenkel and their son (L), recite Kadish close to the body of their son Naftali Frenkel, 16, (unseen) during his funeral service in the Jewish settlement of Nof Ayalon, in the Israeli  West Bank, on July 1, 2014.(AFP PHOTO/DAVID BUIMOVITCH)Modi’in, Israel – In what may have been a first for many Israelis, both in attendance and watching at home as part of a nationally televised viewing audience, Rachel Fraenkel, the bereaved mother of murdered teen Naftali Fraenkel, rose alongside her husband Avi and son Shlomo to recite the Kaddish at her dead son’s funeral on Tuesday.

    HAARETZ.com (http://bit.ly/1lTbAZW) reports that for many Israelis, including Chief Rabbi David Lau and other religious leaders who were in attendance, it was quite likely the first time they have responded “Amen” to a woman’s recitation of the Kaddish.

    Rachel Fraenkel, the only fluent-English speaking parent of the slain teens, has risen to national prominence over the past 18 days since the boys went missing, serving as the de facto point person for the families in dealing with the media.

    Throughout the process many Israelis have come to view her as a a national and religious heroine of sorts due to her stoicism and profound commitment to her faith, most notably following her recent statement to girls praying at the Western Wall to whom she said, “God is not our servant.”

    Rachel Fraenkel, who is known professionally as Rachel Sprecher Fraenkel, is commonly referred to as “Rabbanit” in her work as both director at the Jewish women’s studies institute Advanced Halakha Program at Matan and Jewish law instructor at Nishmat.

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    39 COMMENTS

      • as much as we all feel her indescribable pain, please don’t speak in the name of hashem as to what is valuable to HIM. if it would be so valuable to the ribono shel olam, our imahos would have known about it. and practised it. the only thing that could be said for a kaddish like this is, that a mother going through such unbearable pain, should not be judged for expressing her pain in the way that she has decided.

    1. This is not the first time i have seen a Gadol Answering Amen to Kadish of a lady. Firstly, in Teaneck, it is regular custom for a lady to say kadish.

        • Please do not bring in Riverdale, the discussion is whether it is mutar lhalacha, which it probably is. However, Riverdale is known as a makom of flouting halacha, so it is really not right to bring proof from there. Certainly not when the assistant Rabbi at HIR writes in Al-Jazeera, the mouthpiece of hamas. The paper that Rana Baker writes in who celebrated and gloated about the kidnapping.

          So the truth is that it is horrible to even mention tem in the same story as the Mother saying kaddish. You really have no sense of propriety Charlie.

    2. Leave it to haaretz to take a national tragedy for the entire Jewish nation. A tragedy that united the entire Jewish people, and use it to create dissension. What is the purpose to go and push that btw she’s a rabbi. If she said Kaddish fine. Why use it to push their left agenda? How grotesque.

    3. No words can describe the amount of pain and admiration I feel for this woman. May she merit a nechama.

      However, none of that affects the halacha and mesorah we must adhere to, as per the directives of our rabbanim.

    4. i get the parents saying kaddish which can be explained according to halacha.
      where does a brother who has living parents get in?
      that’s uncalled for, even in the face of a horrible tragedy

    5. Since the time of Abraham and Sarah women’s tiffilot have always been recognized and responded to. It is only with the advent of the separation of the sexes and the mechitzah that it is rare to hear a women’s voice in schul. I have also heard women also say gomel after giving birth.

    6. This woman is going through a broken heart and people feel that they have the right to state their opinions about her? The comments about this post should have read 0 and stayed that way. This is lashon harah at its worst. This is the hubris that people have-that they feel that they can say whatever they want to say whenever they want to. Take care of yourselves and your spiritual and religious growth-don’t worry about anyone else’s.

    7. It’s permitted for a woman to say Kaddish but she should do it quietly and that’s if she has no brothers to say it. By the way the police failed to take the call of the boys being murdered because most of their force was in tel aviv all night on the gay parade events.

    8. They allowed for my grandmother to kiss the Sefer Toireh Simchas Torah in a Heimishe Chasidishe Shul, what’s the Problem if she said Kaadish in front of her son nebech ?

    9. The negative comments here are further evidence to support the contention that many of us have maintained for some time. There is a growing number of people that portend to represent Judaism, but in fact they do not. Their ever increasingly insular way of life has cult them off from realty and they serve only themselves. They are uneducated, unproductive, pathetic people who are a drain on our society. They are also largely ignorant of true Torah values and of halacha.

      Here they have the chutspah the speak lashon hara publicly about those whose loved ones went to the Abisher on kiddush Hashem during their time of sorrow. We need to separate ourselves from these groups and not give them credence or funding of any sort.

    10. WHO CARES?????? This is a mother who lost her son under horrific, abnormal circumstances. Let her grieve in her way & if she wants to say Kaddish, that’s her right. She has Emunah in the Aibishter even at this terrible time. May G-d protect her & all of us. The rest of you – STOP IT! It’s this lack of Achdut that is literally killing us.

    11. Seems from the picture she’s saying it alongside her husband so the fact that Rabbi Lau responded doesn’t really denote anything.
      That being said we can assume she asked a Shaalah of her Rav. I have heard a woman may say it along quietly and alongside other men. May we never have to know such Halachos.

    12. Big deal that it’s common for women to say Qaddish in Teaneck, Riverdale or Manhattan. It was the practice in Lithuania. But not when there were male mourners equally related to the same niftar. A daughter would say Qaddish even if her father had brothers, in post parts of Lithuania, but not if he had sons. So actually, what Mrs Fraenkel did would be quite traditional if her minhag were from that part of the world.

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