This is a combination of journal and research project which Wieseltier tackled in response to his father's death. The author, a literary critic and journalist, was not a particularly observant Jew up to that time, but decided to take the Orthodox course of going to the synogogue to say kaddish, the prayer for the dead, every day for the year following his father's death. He also researched the history of kaddish and various rabbis' commentaries and tales on the subject. The result is a very thoughtful and often aphoristic book, although the exhaustive historical and folktale material can be tiresome. "What death really says is: THINK." "Thoughts begin with definitions and then are held back by them." "People with secrets are not dishonest. They are unhappy. They want to be loved but not to be known." "Your father dies and you are free. And what do you do with your freedom? You think, and write, and pray, about your father. Congratulations!"
This report prepared by David Loftus