​Yahrzeit - יאָרצײַט 

Commemorating the Anniversary of the Death of a Loved One

There are many ways to remember people after they've died, including on the anniversary of their death.  In Ashkenazi Judaism, this is called "yahrzeit."  The Kaddish memorial prayer is at this link.  

Below are some other suggestions from the variety of Jewish practices for remembering loved ones on their yahrzeit.  Reform Judaism does not prescribe any of them, but is open to the many rituals that its adherents find meaningful.

  • In cases of a mother or father, fasting from dawn to dusk is considered a meritorious practice, but not on holidays or other days of public joy.

  • Another practice is on the eve of the Yahrzeit to light a 24-hr candle.

  • It can be a time for an annual visit to the grave.

  • Honor your loved one by lighting the Shabbat candles or leading Kiddush in his or her memory on the Shabbat at which the name is read at services. 

  • You may want to ask to be called to the Torah for an Aliyah.

  • It is a day to study some religious text.

  • The Yahrzeit day is particularly suitable for the giving of charity on behalf of the deceased to synagogues, religious schools, medical institutions, or the poor