Halacha for Wednesday 30 Sivan 5778 June 13 2018

The Obligation to Stand While Kaddish and Barechu are Recited

Question: When the Chazzan or an individual receiving an Aliya to the Torah recites “Barechu Et Hashem Ha’Mevorach” and the congregation replies “Baruch Hashem Ha’Mevorach Le’Olam Va’ed,” must the congregation rise completely or partially or is there no obligation to rise whatsoever?

Answer: The Rama writes in his work Darkei Moshe quoting the Mordechi that it is customary to recite Barechu while standing. This is based on the Talmud Yerushalmi which expounds the verse regarding Eglon, king of Mo’av, “Rise, for Hashem has spoken to you”- Rabbi Elazar understood from here that one must rise while reciting “Amen Yehe Shemeh Rabba” and any other words of holiness.

Based on their words, one must stand while reciting “Baruch Hashem Ha’Mevorach Le’Olam Va’ed,” for even Eglon, king of Mo’av, stood when he was told the word of Hashem. It is therefore compulsory to stand while answering Amen to Kaddish and while reciting “Baruch Hashem Ha’Mevorach”. Many other great Acharonim, including the great Mekubal, Rabbeinu Menachem Azarya of Pano, rule likewise.

On the other hand, Rabbeinu Chaim Vital, chief disciple of the saintly Ari z”l, writes that the great Ari z”l would not stand up while answering Amen to Kaddish and he said that the Yerushalmi quoted by the Rama is incorrect, for it is a mistaken passage erroneously printed in the Talmud Yerushalmi. Only when the Ari was already standing and the Chazzan began reciting Kaddish would he remain standing until the conclusion of the Kaddish at which point he would be seated again. Indeed, the Rama writes in the beginning of the aforementioned Darkei Moshe that the Maharil would not stand during Kaddish of the recitation of “Baruch Hashem Ha’Mevorach Le’Olam Va’ed.” Only if he was standing in any case and the Chazzan began Kaddish would the Maharil remain standing until the conclusion of the Kaddish.

Based on this, according to the opinion of the saintly Ari z”l, there is no need to stand during Kaddish or during the recitation of “Baruch Hashem Ha’Mevorach Le’Olam Va’ed.” Maran Ha’Chida writes that were the great Rabbeinu Menachem Azarya of Pano to have seen the words of the holy Ari, he would certainly have agreed that one may remain seated during Kaddish, for Rabbeinu Menachem Azarya ruled mostly based on the words of the holy Ari.

The great Rabbeinu Yosef Haim of Baghdad writes in his Sefer Od Yosef Hai that the custom in his hometown of Bagdad is that the congregation rises slightly while reciting “Baruch Hashem Ha’Mevorach Le’Olam Va’ed”; he writes that he searched for a source for this custom but he has not found one. This is indeed the custom is several places today. However, there is no basis for this custom, for according to the Ashkenazi custom which follows the Rama, one must be standing completely while reciting “Baruch Hashem Ha’Mevorach” whereas according to the Sephardic custom, there is no need whatsoever to standing while reciting “Baruch Hashem Ha’Mevorach.” All Sephardic Acharonim agree with the ruling of the Ari z”l that there is no need to stand during Kaddish or Barechu.

Summary: The Ashkenazi custom is to rise for answering Kaddish and reciting “Baruch Hashem Ha’Mevorach Le’Olam Va’ed.” According to the Sephardic custom, however, there is no need to stand during Kaddish and Barechu. Nevertheless, even according to the Sephardic custom, if one was already standing and the Chazzan begins reciting Kaddish, one should not be seated until the Chazzan concludes the Kaddish. If a Sephardic individual is praying in an Ashkenazi synagogue, it is preferable for him to stand during Kaddish and Barechu in order not to be the only one sitting while everyone else around him stands.

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

The Laws of Mentioning “Mashiv Ha’Ruach”

We Begin Reciting “Mashiv Ha’Ruach” “Mashiv Ha’Ruach U’Morid Ha’Geshem” is a praise we recite to Hashem during the winter months within the “Mechayeh Ha’Metim” blessing of the Amidah as is printed in all Siddurim. We begin recitin......

Read Halacha

The Laws of One Who Forgets to Mention “Ve’Ten Tal U’Matar” in the “Blessing of the Years”

In the previous Halacha, we have discussed in a general manner that our Sages enacted that beginning from the Seventh of Marcheshvan (outside of Israel from the Fourth or Fifth of December), one begins reciting “Ve’Ten Tal U’Matar” (a request for dew and rain) in the “B......

Read Halacha

Eating and Washing One’s Self Yom Kippur

Some Laws of Yom Kippur All are obligated to fast on Yom Kippur, including pregnant and nursing women. Any woman whose health is at risk due to the fast should consult a prominent Torah scholar who is well-versed in these laws and he should render his ruling whether or not she must fast. One whose ......

Read Halacha

“The Blessing of the Years”

Beginning from last night, the Seventh of Marcheshvan, we have begun to request rain in the Amida prayer (only in the Land of Israel; the law for those outside of Israel will be discussed further). Let us therefore review some of these pertinent laws. The Enactment of the Sages to Request Rain O......

Read Halacha


When the Sanctity of Shevi’it Will Apply to Fruits and Vegetables and More on “Heter Mechira”

In the previous Halachot we have explained that any produce grown in Jewish-owned fields in the Land of Israel this year (5782) retain the sanctity of Shevi’it. We have likewise discussed the ramifications of this sanctity and the proper way to treat such produce. This sanctity rests even on f......

Read Halacha

The Laws of Shevi’it in a Cooperative Garden

This year (5782) is the Shemitta year. In previous Halachot, we have already explained the basic laws of Shemitta including the fact that one may not plant in or work (in any manner) any land within the Land of Israel unless the work is meant to protect the crops from harm that will befall them if t......

Read Halacha

Sprouting Avocado Pits During Shevi’it and the Blessing on Hydroponic Produce

Question: What is the blessing on vegetables that grow from the water (and not from the ground)? Likewise, is it permissible to plant such hydroponic produce during Shevi’it? Answer: The Blessing on Mushrooms and Truffles The Mishnah in Masechet Berachot (40b) states: “On things whi......

Read Halacha

Forbidden and Permissible Forms of Work During Shevi’it

In this Halacha and the next, we shall discuss the basic laws of tending to a garden during Shevi’it. We shall not discuss all of the details of these laws, for these laws do not apply to those residing outside of Israel. Works Forbidden by Torah Law and Rabbinic Enactment Some works forbi......

Read Halacha