All his life, Leon Charney had uttered the Kaddish. By rote.He davened from the amud alot?
Then, when his mother died, Charney opted for the Mourner’s Kaddish, extreme edition, reciting it several times a day with a minyan for a year. The experience got him wondering why the prayer has proven so central to Jewish life.I mean, a quest to understand Kaddish would be understandable, but an intimate quest?
Charney’s inquiry resulted in "The Mystery of the Kaddish," a bestselling book he co-wrote with Israeli journalist Saul Mayzlish. On Nov. 29, Charney will speak about the book and the prayer at Berkeley’s Jewish Community Center of the East Bay.
For a man known for his work as a Middle East peace negotiator, talk show host and philanthropist, this intimate quest to understand the Kaddish might seem out of character. It wasn’t.
"What I learned," he said from his New York office, "is that this integral prayer, brought about by rabbinical Judaism, has kept the Jewish people together for 2,000 years. The whole idea is minyan, and minyan is community." [...]So it's the same concept as shmaltz herring?