A Jewish prayer that begins "May His great Name grow exalted and sanctified in the world that He created as He willed." Associated with mourning because one who mourns a great personal loss (such as a parent) is required to stand up in front of a minyan every day and reaffirm his faith in God despite his loss. This showing of faith is a tribute to the deceased.

The X-files

Episode: 4X12
First aired:2/17/97
Written by:Howard Gordon
Directed by:Kim Manners

Very interesting episode.

Mourners gather at a cemetery in Brooklyn to pay their last respects to Isaac Luria, a Hasidic man brutally murdered by three teenaged hate-mongers. Among the group is Ariel Luria, and her father, Jacob Weiss. When night falls, a shadowy figure enters the cemetery and shapes a man-sized sculpture out of mud.

Mulder and Scully investigate Isaac Luria's death. Isaac, who lived in a neighborhood with a history of racial tension, was severely beaten inside his market. Police ruled out robbery as a motive as nothing was stolen. They later retrieved a store surveillance tape from the VCR of a sixteen year-old named Tony Oliver, one of the teenagers who participated in the killing. Oliver was strangled by an unknown assailant. Most intriguing to Mulder is the discovery of Isaac Luria's finger prints on Oliver's body.

Weiss shows them an anti-Semitic pamphlet left at his door that very morning. Mulder tells his partner that whoever printed the pamphlets probably knows who killed Isaac. The agents interview Curt Brunjes, who owns a copy shop across the street from Isaac's market. When the agents show Brunjes photos of Banks and Macguire, (the teenagers suspected of beating Isaac), he claims their faces are unfamiliar. Unbeknownst to the agents, Banks listens in on the conversation via a security surveillance camera. Scully tells Brunjes there are rumors that Isaac has risen from the grave to avenge his murder.

Spooked, Banks and Macguire dig up Isaac's coffin. As Macguire walks to the car to retrieve some tools, Banks pries open the coffin lid and discovers Isaac's body inside. Later, Banks finds Macguire's body protruding from a mound of mud.

The agents are called to the crime scene. Mulder locates a leather book tucked beneath Isaac's burial shroud. But when he touches the old book, it suddenly bursts into flames. The agents turn to Kenneth Ungar, a scholar from the judaica Arcl-iives. Ungar explains that what Mulder found was a book on Jewish mysticism. He insists it would never have been buried with the dead. Ungar notes a name engraved into the leather: Jacob Weiss.

Ariel tells the agents that although she and her husband received their wedding license weeks before the murder, the marriage ceremony never transpired.

The agents locate Weiss in the attic of a synagogue. They also discover Banks' dead body hanging from a wooden beam. Weiss is arrested and charged with murder. He admits to both of the murders, but Mulder believes someone--or something--was in the attic with him.

Unger tells Mulder about the Golem, a creature from mystical text. He explains how early Kabbalists believed a righteous man could create a living being from the earth itself. A single Hebrew word, "emet," is inscribed on the back of the Golem's hand. To destroy the Golem, Unger explains, the first letter, "e," must be erased.

Brunjes is found murdered. When the agents examine the surveillance camera tape. They discover that the Golem whose physical features match those of Isaac Luria is responsible for the murder. Weiss returns to the synagogue after he is released from jail. There he discovers Ariel preparing for her wedding ceremony. When Weiss attempts to stop his daughter, the Golem attacks him. The agents rescue Weiss and, as Scully attends to his injuries, Mulder searches for Ariel. The Golem attacks Mulder, knocking him aside as he attempts to fend off the being. But Ariel intercedes. When the wedding continues, the Golem places a ring on Ariel's finger. Ariel expresses her love for Isaac, then wipes the letter "e" off the Golems' hand. The creature crumbles into dust.

Important Quotes:
Mulder -- "Yeah, spectral figures are not often known to leave fingerprints. Casper never did."

Brunjes -- "What kind of Jew trick is this?"
Mulder -- "A Jew pulled it off 2000 years ago."

Mulder -- "It seems pretty redundant, doesn't it? Messing up somebody you've already killed? I think they were afraid."
Scully -- "Afraid?"
Mulder -- "Afraid that the man they hated enough to kill wasn't really dead."

Mulder -- "I don't speak Hebrew . . . I don't know what that means."
Scholar -- "Truth."

Back to The X-files: Season 4
This is the transliteration (followed by a translation) of the Aramaic text of the Jewish Kaddish prayer (the only line in this text that isn't Aramaic but Hebrew is the last one). The text dates the the 2nd century CE. For the trasliteration I used the standard pronounciation of modern Hebrew as it is spoken in Israel. Ashkenazi pronounciation will differ substantially in some words.

yitgadal ve-yitkadash shmeh raba (amen)
be-olma di vra chir'uteh
ve-yamlich malchuteh
ve-yatzmach purkaneh
vi-ykarev meshicheh
be-chayechon u-v-yomechon
u-v-chaiyei de-chol beit yisra'el
ba-agala u-vi-zman kariv
ve-imru amen (amen)
yehe shmeh raba mevorach
le-olam u-le-olmei olmaya
yitbarach ve-yishtabach ve-yitapa'ar ve-yitromam
ve-yitnase ve-yithadar ve-yit'aleh ve-yit'halal
shmeh de-kudsha brich hu
le-eila min kol birchata ve-shirata,
tushbechata ve-nechamata, da-amiran be-olma
ve-imru amen (amen)

yehe shlama raba min shmaya
ve-chayim tovim aleinu ve-al kol yisra'el
ve-imru amen (amen)

ose shalom bi-meromav, hu ya'ase shalom, aleinu ve-al kol yisra'el, ve-imru amen (amen)

the translation of the above text is:

May His great name be magnified and hallowed (amen)
In the world that He created according to His own will
And may He rule upon His kingdom
And may He raise His salvation,
And may He hasten the arrival of His Massiah
In your own lives and your own days
And in the lives of all the House of Israel
Soon and in a near time
And say ye amen (amen)
May His great name be blessed
For eternity and all eternities
May {the name of...} be blessed and praized and lauded and raised
And be made higher and glorified and adored and magnified
The name of The Holy One Who is Blessed.
Above all blessings, and songs
and praizes and consolations
That are said in the world
And say ye amen (amen)

May there be great peace from heaven
And good lives for us and all the People of Israel
And say ye amen (amen)

He Who Does Peace In His Heaven, He will make peace for us and all the People of Israel, and say ye amen (amen)

There are several versions of the Kadish: the version above (which is probably the most widely known) is called kaddish yatom (orphan's kaddish), and is said at funerals and memorial services by the son of the deceased or, if the deceased is childless, by the closest family member; the short vesion, called Hatzi Kaddish (half a kaddish), is the same as the above except it ommits the last paragraph (starting with "yehe shlama raba min shmaya") and is said every day as a part of the morning prayers; The kaddish shalem (complete kaddish), is said three times a day, at the closing of the three daily prayer services, it contains an additional paragraph, before the one starting with "yehe shlama raba min shmaya":

titkabel ztelut'hon u-va'ut'hon
de-chol beit yisra'el kedam avuhon
di vi-shmaya, ve-imru amen (amen)

the translation of which is:

May the prayers and requests
Of all the House of Israel before their Father
Who is in heaven, be accepted, and say ye amen (amen)

The last version of the kaddish is named kadish de-rabanan (rabbinical kaddish), and is said after the study of some part of the Mishnah or the Talmud. It is identical to the complete kaddish but in its end the following text is added:

al yisra'el ve-al rabanan, ve-al
talmideihon ve-al kol talmidei talmideihon
ve-al kol man de-oskin ba-oraita, di be-atra kadisha {hadein}*
ve-di be-chol atar ve-atar.
yehe lahem ve-lachon shlama raba china
ve-chisda ve-rachamin, ve-chain arichin
u-mezona revichei u-furkana min kedam
avuhon de-vi-shmaya ve-ar'a,
ve-imru amen (amen)

the translation of which is:

Over Israel and the Rabbis and over
Their pupils and all the pupils of their pupils
And over all who deals with the Torah, whether in {this/the}* Holy Place,
Or in any other place.
May they and ye have great peace, grace,
and compassion and mercy, and long lives,
And food to spare, and salvation from
Their Father who is in Heaven and Earth.
And say ye amen (amen)

* If the kaddish is said in Israel the word 'hadein' (this) is used, if it is said outside Eretz Israel the word is not used (which is the aquivalent of the english 'the')

The album 'Kaddish', by Towering Inferno in 1993 on Island Records.

"The most frightening record I've ever heard"

Brian Eno

Towering Inferno's Kaddish is a screaming nightmare of an album. At once terrifying and beautifully frail, its central theme is the persecution of the Eastern European Jews by Hitler's Nazi regime.

Not subject matter to be taken lightly.

With primary vocal performances by singer Márta Sebestyén and poet Endre Szkárosi, the album variously uses English, Hebrew, Hungarian and Latin, with the occasional bit of German, and draws heavily on traditional mourning and funereal songs and prayers from the Hungarian Jewish cultures, including the mourner's Kaddish that gives the album its title.

The packaging of the album is perhaps the most spectacular I've ever seen. The traditional CD jewel case and sleeve notes with their cemetery photographs are supplemented by a black card outer covering, unadorned but for the title and artist picked out in silver on the front and sides. The back covering incorporates a small window, and behind this there are a selection of cards with different coloured and textured backgrounds, and transparent cells printed with black images, including a soldier, the text of The Rose (see below) and a Star of David; by combining these, you can compose any one of hundreds of images to appear in the rear window.

Part I

The Rose

A simple slow melody on a lonely flute accompanies Márta's reading of a poem which recurs throughout the album.

This round world as it collapses on me
This round world as it collapses on me

The wind blows through me
The wind blows through me

The old and the new
And here and far away
Familiar and unknown

And you and everything
Love of the universe

This sky will cover you as you fall down
This sky will cover you as you fall down

The track closes with a traditional Hungarian song, and a reading from a 13th century funeral oration.


Instrumental. Grinding, screeching industrial sounds and hammer-on-metal percussion.


Instrumental. Violins, clarinet and piano, a seemingly despondent melody that almost bursts with hope at some points.

4 by 2

Upbeat and staccato piano with synth strings. Growing unease, and sudden panic to swelling violins.

Edvárd Király

Taunting and screaming, Hungarian language song about King Edward's inhumane actions against Welsh rebels. A speeded-up warlike drumbeat, with snippets of vocals looped and distorted, building to a frenzied crescendo.


Possibly the most weird-ass language track track on the album, its pastoral imagery and its theme of exile are highlighted rather than obfuscated by the fact that its not in an actual spoken language. Its in reverse English.

Skcart eht pmuj
tniat gnirps
reed eht
kcor lager
dels a
erised dna

Part II

Not Me

English language but with a great distance to it; the vocals filtered through telephone.

You are in the free country

Reverse Field

Backwards, three steps...
The man who prays must step back three steps...
This is the sign of honour.

Guitar and energetic arhythmic drums.

Backwards, three steps...


Oppressive drums and a freeform jazz saxophone solo, with sample of Hitler declaiming "Vernichtung der jüdischen Rasse in Europa!", and cantor in Hebrew "Blessed is the Lord".

Sto Mondo Rotondo

The poem from The Rose, Latin translation. Swelling choral backing adds to a distinct 'church' atmosphere, hilighting the close theological relationship between Christian and Jewish faiths.

Organ Loop

Márta reads a Hungarian translation of The Rose, to predictable organ accompaniment.

Part III

Toll (I)

Scary rhythms and edgy synthesisers with distorted vocals.

Toll (II)

More of the same, with Hungarian and Hebrew funereal chants.

The Ruin

Almost becomes an interlude: desultory viola and piano dominate this two minute piece. It's slow and reflective; it sounds like the aftermath of the previous two tracks.


Segue with awkward and staccato synthesised violins, in my mind associates with footage of Jewish refugees arriving in America, with samples of Hitler once again pronouncing "Vernichtung der jüdischen Rasse in Europa!"


Crazy percussion sounding like stamping of feet and thumping of chests, and limbs.

They received us with open arms
This will be the haven
You are in the Free Country



From the distance, men's voices march in; chanting the text of Not Me, but in Hungarian, interrupted by military drumbeats and an authoritarian voice:

You cannot leave this city!
Even if you refuse
to set foot in its soil
remember this
when you go round the forest
and make falcons soar to the sky
they won't seek
your hooded hand any more.
You cannot leave this city!

Part IV

Modern Times

Introducing the theme for this section of the work, Modern Times establishes an air of progress and remembrance. An industrious and modern electronic drumbeat emerges from the wake of part III, with synthesisers and occasional electric guitar bringing images of modern day Manhattan in fast-forward sunrise.

The Rose (II)

A reprise of the traditional song from The Rose of Part 1. In the context it sounds more like ceremony than before, cleaner and better dressed, more formal.

The Bell

A traditional Bulgarian song, set to dramatic synth with tolling of bells and blowing of mournful horns.

I lay a beautiful coloured carpet
in front of you
but you saddle up your horse
and i can see you want to go away.

Yes, I'm going away, but I'm leaving you
with two Mothers, yours and mine.

God damn your Mother, and my Mother too
because I'd rather be with you here
on the rug.


The Mourner's Kaddish, read in dramatic cantor bass to wind gusts, violin and synthesisers. It's spine chilling. It's haunting. It speaks only of peace, not of hope.

The Weaver

Recovery. After the Kaddish, life goes on in spite of what preceded. A traditional Cretan song:

If I'd known you were alone
I would have stopped sometimes while passing
To sing you something sweet
And all day your treadle clicks
While you weave your linen
And keep me waiting.
A thousand and two things you weave
To impress the village men
And all day your treadle clicks
While you weave your linen
Ignoring me in my impatience.

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