One of the most widely observed Jewish rituals is the lighting of a candle and saying the Mourner’s Kaddish on the yahrzeit of a loved one. Though the literal translation of the Yiddish word yahrzeit means “time of year,” it is understood to refer to the anniversary on the Hebrew calendar of an individual’s death.
Jewish tradition is filled with folk stories about people going to great lengths to properly observe a loved-one’s yahrzeit. But it should not be that difficult!
Here at CBE congregants who provide the office with the names and dates of their loved one’s passing will receive a letter well in advance of the yahrzeit. The letters are sent out mid-month for the following month’s observances. It is quite common for people to make a donation to the synagogue in honor of the yahrzeit of the deceased. Donations can be sent via the mail or on-line (info/links).
At our weekly Shabbat services on both Friday evening and Saturday morning the yahrzeit list for that week is read. The list includes names of people whose yahrzeit falls from that Friday through the following Thursday. On Shabbat morning we offer a group aliyah during the Torah service for those who are observing a yahrzeit that week. Following the aliyah Rabbi Mina offers a special misheberach prayer for all those marking a yahrzeit.
In addition to our Shabbat services, those marking a yahrzeit can come to either our Wednesday evening minyan or our Sunday morning minyan and recite Kaddish. If Rosh Hodesh (the new month) falls on a Sunday congregants who are observing a yahrzeit that week will have the opportunity for Rabbi Mina to recite the prayer El Malei Rahameem, God Full of Compassion, to be recited on behalf of their loved one.
If you have not been receiving notifications for your loved one’s yahrzeit, please contact the office to make sure we have the correct information. If you do not wish to receive notices from the synagogue but would like to find out the Hebrew date of your loved one’s passing, please go to www.hebcal.com where there is a link for yahrzeits.