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The Illuminated Kaddish: Interpretations of the Mourner's Prayer

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The Illuminated Kaddish: Interpretations of the Mourner's Prayer

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The Illuminated Kaddish
Interpretations of the Mourner's Prayer
Paintings, Calligraphy, Interpretations by Hyla Shifra Bolsta
KTAV Publishing House, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-6028-0191-2

Reviewed by Simone Bonim - May 14, 2012

The Illuminated Kaddish is a gorgeous coffee table styled book that measures approximately 10 inches by 10 inches. This book provides readers with both a visual and textual interpretation of the Mourner's Prayer that is both informative and soothing. The textual or midrashic interpretation of the prayer, and the accompanying illustrations and calligraphy have all been rendered by Hyla Shifra Bolsta, a talented and world renowned artist. She also holds a master's degree in psychology.

It is an odd thing to say about a book, but The Illuminated Kaddish has a meditative quality about it. Looking at the pictures helps to transport your mind into the very soul of the mourner's Kaddish without vocalizing or reading the text. When you say the prayer or read the accompanying text this book will help bring a greater understanding and appreciation of the meaning and importance of this prayer. In so doing, it will help you to come to terms with the loss of your loved one.

>From the first page onward, this is a very spiritual and uplifting book. It is also a book that highlights the enduring nature and beauty of this prayer that has brought comfort to Jewish people around the world since it was first penned.

This book contains a plethora of stunning multi-colored illustrations, along with the text of the Kaddish in Hebrew and with a transliterated version. Bolsta also includes a variety of English translations of the prayer. The text includes multiple interpretations of the prayer, as well as calligraphic illuminations of the prayer and paintings and visual interpretations of the prayer. Bolsta has also included a chapter containing quotes from Rabbinic scholars, the Midrash, and Torah that connect to the mourner's Kaddish. The book concludes with some notes on the text, and a glossary of terms.

I found The Illuminated Kaddish to be an uplifting and comforting book that will help make a difficult period in your life a little easier to endure!

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