A yahrtzeit is the anniversary of a loved one’s death, and is “marked by the lighting of a 24-hour yahrtzeit candle, reciting the Mourner’s Kaddish in the synagogue, and giving tzedakah (charitable contributions). By giving tzedakah, the memory of the deceased lives on in good deeds. Also on certain festivals and holy days, special yizkor (memorial) prayers are added to the liturgy.” (excerpted from Death and Mourning: Jewish Rituals, Bigman, Rabbi Amy R. Published as a background paper for the Ecumenical Insitute for Jewish-Christian Studies.)
The Mourner’s Kaddish*
Yitgadal v’yitkadash sh’mei raba,
Y’hei sh’mei raba m’varach
Yitbarach v’yishtabach v’yitpaar
l’eila min kol birchata v’shirata,
Oseh shalom bimromav,
Exalted and hallowed be God’s great name
Blessed be God’s great name to all eternity
Blessed, praised, honored, exalted, extolled,
May there be abundant peace from the heaven, and life, for us and all Israel.
May the One who creates harmony on high, bring peace to us and to all Israel.
*The Hebrew, transliterated Hebrew, and English translation were taken from: Mishkan T’filah A Reform Sidur. (5767 2007). Elyse D. Frishman, ed. pg. 598. Central Conference of American Rabbis: New York