- Moshe Ben-Chaim
- Reader: This is a likely to be a complicated issue.But let me
try. When someone is raised non observant and their father dies, 20
years later they are BA'AL tesheuva, and has never had anyone do
Kaddish,what can be done to set this right?
- Mesora: One can say
"orphan's kaddish" even 20 years later. However, it is not
said so as to "set something straight." It is said as a
method of an orphan accepting God's justice. We don't believe that we
can do something for the deceased, although many Jews do ascribe to
this. Man's ultimate judgment is based on his own life's deeds, not on
his orphans' kaddish recital or Tehillim learning. The passage
"ish becheto yumas", "A man in his own sin will he
die" teaches us that God's criteria of judgment are limited
exclusively to the exclusive scope of that individual's merits.