Lesson 3- Hatzi Kaddish
"Hatzi" means "half". This prayer is called "Hatzi Kaddish" because it is a short version of the Kaddish. There are several versions of the Kaddish prayer, each used in different ways. The word "Kaddish" comes from "Kadosh", which means "holy" or "sacred" or "set apart". The Kaddish is a prayer of praise written in Aramaic, which was the spoken language of Jews when this prayer was written about two centuries ago. Check out the English translation of this in your siddur. There are many iterations of this prayer in your siddur, but the English and Hebrew of one can be found on the bottom of page 86/87, continuing on the top of page 88/89.
This particular Kaddish is used as a transition between different parts of the service. You are learning it so that you can lead it as we transition from "Pesukei D'Zimra" (the more musical, earlier part of the service) into "Shakharit" (the more formal part of the service whose central pieces are the Sh'ma and the Amidah).
The Hatzi Kaddish is recorded below in two different keys, because one key will probably be easier to sing than the other, depending on your voice. Before you start learning it, check both recordings and sing along with the melody to figure out which key works best for your voice.
Click here for a recording of the Hatzi Kaddish in Ab.
Click here for a recording of the Hatzi Kaddish in C#.
Click here for to read the words in Hebrew (you can open two windows to see the words and listen to recording a the same time).
Click here to see an English translation of the Hatzi Kaddish
Listen to the recording and read along a few words at a time, imitating the words and melody. When you feel ready, go on to the next few words. When you can chant the whole thing without using the recording, you have completed the lesson.
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