In Jewish tradition, when the year of mourning is over, mourners are expected to return to a fully normal life. There are several occasions each year when our loved ones who have passed on are memorialized. The most significant of these is yahrzeit, the anniversary of the death, which is observed according to the Hebrew calendar. As is the case in all Jewish holy days, yahrzeit observance begins at night. A 24-hour candle is lit and one may attend synagogue to recite the Kaddish [the memorial prayer]. It is traditional to avoid attending any celebrations or parties on the day of yahrzeit, and some people fast on that day.
The following may be recited when lighting the candle:
May they rest in peace and may their memory ever be for a blessing. At this moment, I pause for thought in memory of my beloved………………………I give thanks for the blessing of life, of companionship and of memory. I am grateful for the strength and faith that sustained me in the hour of my bereavement. Though sorrow lingers, I have learned that love is stronger than death. Though my loved one is beyond my sight, I do not despair for I sense my beloved in my heart as a living presence. Sustained by words of faith, comforted by precious memories, we kindle the light in remembrance. “The human spirit is the light of Adonai” (Proverbs 20:27). As this light is pure and clear, so may the blessed memory of the goodness and nobility of character of our dear…………..illumine our souls.
Temple Shalom members and guests are invited and encouraged to let us know the name and yahrzeit of your beloved ones who have departed from us. We will honor their memory by announcing their name at our synagogue during services.
May you be comforted among all the mourners of Israel.