Winner of the 1998 National Jewish Book Award
"An astonishing fusion of learning and psychic intensity; its poignance and lucidity should be an authentic benefit to readers, Jewish and gentile." --"The New York Times Book Review"
Children have obligations to their parents: the Talmud says "one must honor him in life and one must honor him in death." Leon Wieseltier, a diligent but doubting son, recites the Jewish prayer of mourning at his father's grave, and then embarks on the traditional year of saying the kaddish daily.
Wieseltier's highly acclaimed Kaddish is the spiritual and thoughtful journal of one of America's most brilliant intellectuals. Driven to explore th origins of the kaddish, from the ancient legend of a wayeard ghost to a 17th-century Ukranian pogrom, he offers as well a mourner's response to the questions of fate, freedom, and faith stirred up in death's wake. Lyric, learned, and deeply moving, Kaddish>/b> is suffused with love: a son's embracing of the traditon bequethed to him by his father, a scholar's savoring of its beauty, and a writer's revealing it, proudly unadorned, to the reader.