Musical Note By Cantor Sherwood Goffin
The Regal and Majestic Musaf Kaddish
Almost lost in the sounds of flapping seats of rising congregants and mumbled short discussions of points in the Rabbi’s sermon is the unique Kaddish that is sung before the silent recitation of the Musaf Amidah. This ancient Kaddish is one of a corpus of holy, immutable melodies that were sanctified by the Chief Rabbi of his generation, the Maharil, Rabbi Jacob Mölin of Mayence in the Rhineland (1365-1427), and confirmed as unchangeable minhag by the Shulchan Aruch (o.c. 613). This majestic melody of the Kaddish is often repeated as a theme throughout Musaf, subject to the choice of the individual serving as the Chazzan. It is estimated that this melody is more than 1,000 years old. Those who mistakenly substitute the Kaddish that is sung at the end of the reading of the Torah for the Kaddish of Musaf are making a major error and should be corrected. The mark of a true Baal Tefillah is the one who zealously preserves the prayer tradition as bequeathed to us by our ancestors. No one should ascend the bimah who is not willing to adhere to the musical halacha of Tefillah!
Daven Well and Sing Along!