What is Yahrzeit?

Yahrzeit is a Yiddish word meaning "a year's time".

Each year the anniversary of a death is commemorated according to the Hebrew calendar. This day is observed as a solemn day of remembrance, honoring the memory of the deceased. The main expression of the Yahrzeit is reciting the Mourner’s Kaddish Prayer and lighting a Yarhzeit candle. The candle is lit on the eve of that date and burns for 24 hours. A Yahrzeit candle is symbolic of the soul and spirit of the deceased. Your Synagogue will read the name of the deceased at Friday evening and Shabbat morning services. In the Jewish tradition, mourners visit the graves of the deceased, at that time and/or make a charitable donation.

When the candle is lit, you may want to say,

We give thanks for the blessing of life, of companionship, and of memory. Though our loved one is beyond our sight, we do not despair, for we sense our beloved in our hearts as a living presence. I light this Yahrzeit candle in loving memory of ___who has gone to his/her eternal resting place. May his/her soul be given life everlasting and may his/her memory always remain a comfort and source of inspiration."

Mourners Kaddish Let the glory of God be extolled, Let God's great name be hallowed, in the world whose creation God willed. May God's sovereignty soon prevail, in our day, our own lives, and the life of all Israel, and let us say, Amen.

Let God's great name be blessed forever and ever. Let the name of God be glorified, exalted and honored, though God is beyond all the praises, songs and adorations that we can utter, and let us say Amen.

For us and for all Israel, may the blessing of peace and the promise of life come true,and let us say Amen. May God who makes peace to reign in the high heavens, Let peace descend on us, on all Israel and all the world, and let us say, Amen.

Yitgadal ve-yitkadash sh'mei raba b'alma di v'ra khir'utei, v'yamlikh malkhutei be-hayeikhon u-ve'yomeikhon u-ve-hayei d'khol beit yisrael, ba-agala u-vi-z'man kariv, v'imru, amen.

Y'hei sh'mei raba m'varakh l'alam, u-l'almei almaya. Yitbarakh v'yishtabah v'yitpa'ar, v'yitromam v'yitnasei, v'yit-hadar v'yit'aleh v'yit-halal sh'mei d'kudsha, b'rikh hu l'ela min kol birkhata v'shirata, tushb'hata, v'nehemata da'amiran b'alma v'imru, amen.

Y'hei sh'lama raba min sh'maya, v'hayim aleinu v'al kol yisrael, v'imru, amen.

Oseh shalom bi-m'romav, hu ya'aseh shalom aleinu v'al kol yisrael, v'imru, amen.