I matter, but I Don’t Count: Reflections on Saying Kaddish

December 9, 2019

By Miriam Schachter, LCSW for The Times of Israel

When my mother, Pnina G. Schacter,  פנינה בת לאה פעשע וחנוך העניך, died on October 31st, 2018, I was determined to say Kaddish in her memory over the course of the year. My mother had expected no less of me.

And, so, every morning, I drove to my local synagogue, Young Israel Ohav Zedek, North Riverdale/Yonkers, parked in the lot behind the synagogue, and entered through the back door, ensuring the quickest route to the women’s section. I arrived with a fresh cup of coffee in hand, my tangible reward for waking up early to come to shul. I’d drop my handbag on my seat, pick up my favorite siddur, peer over the mechitzah, and I would begin to count …. 1,2,3 …… 7,8,9   — ah … but  9+me does not = 10.

I matter, but I don’t count.
I’m seen, but I don’t count.
I count, but I am not counted.

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