By Geoffrey Paul
March 11, 2010
Being insomniac has its rewards. Some time in those long hours before the dawn, at which point you are liable annoyingly to fall asleep, the BBC World Service (which carries on when Radio4 closes down at 1 a.m.) had a fascinating programme, commentated by Rabbi Naftali Brawer, on the probable origins, efficacy and place of the kaddish in Jewish life. It was without doubt one of the best things on Judaism the BBC has done in recent years. Even the Chief Rabbi contributed some meaningful thoughts on what kaddish meant to him and there were women mourners who spoke of their problems in having their kaddish sidelined by their Orthodox menfolk. But what really threw me - was it 4 a.m. or thereabouts? - was the all-female choir (Reform?) whose voices singing the kaddish punctuated the programme. Is there something we should know? Listen to the programme for yourself at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p006hrrr/Heart_And_Soul_The_Mourner...