Mourning: Yahrzeit – Azkarah: Anniversary of the death

Yahrzeit – Azkarah: Anniversary of the death

Yahrzeit/Azkarah: The Yiddish/Hebrew word for anniversary, referring to the anniversary of the death, traditionally the Hebrew date.

On the yahrzeit, the mourner lights a yahrzeit candle on the evening before (in Jewish time, a new day begins with sunset) and lets it burn through the next day. If possible, the mourner visits the burial site. The mourner also attends a minyan for one or more of the daily services to say Mourner’s Kaddish with community. Sometimes people observe the yahrzeit on the Shabbat before or after the Hebrew date when it might be easier to attend a service. At IKAR, we invite you to write some reflections that can be shared with the community for the yahrzeit.

Some additional customs include: giving tzedakah, volunteering for a cause that was important to the deceased, organizing a communal learning event, dedicated to the memory of the deceased.