February 24, 2024 |
Yahrzeit, Yiddish for “time of year”, is the commemoration of the anniversary of the death of a loved one, as determined by the Hebrew calendar. From generation to generation, we honor the memory of our dearly departed by reciting the Mourner’s Kaddish and lighting a Yahrzeit candle for 24 hours. The candle is lit at sunset on the day preceding the Hebrew date of death. Although not prescribed in Jewish law, lighting a Yahrzeit candle is a traditional custom; it reminds us of the fragility of life and is a symbol of the soul.
Approximately three weeks in advance of an upcoming Yahrzeit, members of Temple Israel are sent a reminder notification of the date of the Yahrzeit and service times when the Mourner’s Kaddish will be recited. The Yahrzeit is a time to reflect, remember, memorialize, and honor loved ones. It is customary at this time to commemorate the lives of our loved ones by giving tzedakah (charity) in the form of a donation.
In addition to reciting the Mourner’s Kaddish on the Yahrzeit of a loved one’s passing, the Yizkor memorial prayer remembering all of our deceased relatives and friends as well as the martyrs of Judaism is recited on the four Jewish holidays of Passover, Shavuot, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot (Shemini Atzeret).
Temple Israel of Natick offers special opportunities to honor the legacy of loved ones, including through the purchase of engraved bricks in our courtyard and/or permanent sanctuary plaques. To learn more about these beautiful ways to pay tribute to loved ones, please contact the Temple office at 508-650-3521, ext 100.