The 4 W’s of Yizkor
Who, What, When and Why
Yizkor , which means ‘May He Remember’ in Hebrew, is the prayer recited by individuals who have lost either one or both of their parents, a husband or wife, a brother or sister, or a child, Heaven forbid. Yizkor is recited four times a year and should be recited in a synagogue with a minyan a quorum. Yizkor services are held on Yom Kippur, Shmini Atzeret, on the eighth day of Passover in most of the world (in Israel on the seventh), and on the second day of Shavuot (in Israel Shavuot is only celebrated one day). The Yizkor prayer asks the Almighty to remember and to give peace and tranquility to the souls of the departed. This is based on the Jewish belief of the perpetuity of the soul. Although a soul can no longer do good deeds after death, it can gain merit through the charity and good deeds of the living that are done specifically in their honor.
It is believed that Yizkor is recited during the Jewish holidays since in essence, they are a time of reflection and renewal and when families are together. Dating back to the times of the Temple, families traveled to Jerusalem to commemorate and celebrate holy days. Today, families gather at the synagogue for services and then share celebratory meals at home. Accordingly, these major holidays are opportune and appropriate times to remember the dearly departed.
The Connection between Yizkor and Tzedakah - Charity
Yizkor includes the mission of contributing charity in memory of the deceased. In ancient times, Jews were required to give a donation to the Temple. Today, they are encouraged to donate to charity. Through the performance of the mitzvah of tzedakah in the name of the loved one(s), the merit of the deed is shared with the soul of the departed and their memory is augmented.
What are the Yizkor Prayers?
The Yizkor service consists of the following prayers:
The Yizkor prayer asks the Almight to remember the soul of a departed relative. The Yizkor prayer is recited individually for each departed close relative and their name is mentioned. Yizkor includes a pledge to make a donation to charity.
The Yizkor books are one of the most reliable sources for gaining knowledge about Jewish communities. The sayings in a Yizkor Book include name of the deceased soul in a prayer and impart message that donation is the best way of granting peace to the deceased soul. So in the honour of your near and dear ones, you can also make donations and can get spiritually connected with your loved ones. By just logging in to make your donation and promotes peace and tranquility among the departed soul.
El Male Rachamim
This memorial prayer beckons G-d to allow the soul of the deceased to rest in peace. The departed’s name is once again mentioned and a pledge to charity is again included.
In this memorial prayer, The Creator is asked to remember the many Jewish communities who were sadly destroyed throughout the ages.
To remember and honor your loved one(s), please DONATE NOW to the Lev LaLev Yizkor Tzedakah Charity Project.
Your generous contribution will forever change the life of an orphaned girl at the Rubin-Zeffen Home in Netanya, Israel.
It’s a Mitzvah!