Kad(d)ish refers to the prayers for the dead. But this meaning is only a derivative meaning of kadish. The first meaning of kadish is “holy” (kadosh קָדוֹשׁ). “Kadosh” is the second most important word in the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible); the first is YHVH (Yahweh, Yehovah). What is the most significant attribute of God? Everlasting? All powerful? All merciful? All compassionate? All loving? All knowing? All present? No, none of these. It’s God’s Holiness. All of God’s other attributes flow from his Holiness. The Bible is the sacred history of God’s overarching will for man: “Be ye holy for I am Holy.” And that is what the Bible – the sacred history of God’s dealings with man – is all about : “I am the LORD your God; be holy, because I am holy.”
Holy” (Kadosh) only appears once in all the 50 Chapters of Genesis: “And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” (Kaddish: the holy and the dead). Holy in Greek is hagios. Most Jews of the Greek Empire 300 – 60 BCE used the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures. Their Hebrew was much better than the majority of modern non-Israeli Jews. There are two instances in the Bible where holy appears as “holy, holy, holy” – a trihagion. The first in Isaiah 6 and the second in Revelation 4.
In Isaiah 6, we read:
In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” (Isaiah 6:1-3, ESV).
- Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord, our Triune God (revmartyreed.wordpress.com)