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Yahrzeit is a commemoration of the death of a Jew by a mourner (the child, sibling, spouse or parent of the deceased, sometimes this custom is extended to other relatives or grandparents if their is no one else to memorialize them). The date of the Yahrzeit which is calculated according to the Hebrew calendar, is the anniversary of the death, not the burial. The anniversary of the death of a loved one is naturally a solemn day. Judaism helps the mourner remember the pain and also honors the memory of the deceased via Yahrzeit rituals. The main expression of the Yahrzeit is reciting the Mourner's Kaddish prayer. Lighting a Yahrzeit candle, a special memorial candle that burns for 24 hours from sundown the evening before is another Yahrzeit practice. Only one Yahrzeit candle per deceased needs to be lit per household. The Yahzeit candle should be lit before dark (sundown) on the evening before the anniversary of the death and burn for a full 24 hours. Many people visit the graves of the deceased on the Yahrzeit. Some people observe Yahrzeit by fasting. While Jews have observed Yahrzeit since Talmudic times, the ceremony wasn't called Yahrzeit until the 16th century. The word comes from the German word Jahrzeit, a years time, a word used by the Christian Church for the occasion of honoring the dead. In Judaism, Yahrzeit aids those in mourning and keeps the memory of the deceased alive.
It is appropriate to light A Yahrzeit Candle for deceased loved ones:
1. During the week of Shiva (mourning)-a seven day memorial candle is lit.
2. At sundown on the eve of the Yahrzeit (anniversary of the death) It is customary to light a yahrzeit (memorial anniversary) 24 hour candle.
3. In addition, a 24-hour memorial candle is lit at sundown preceding the last day of Pesach, Shavuot, Sukkot and on Yom Kippur. On these holy days, one should attend the Yizkor (Memorial) Prayer Service that takes place in the synagogue.
There is no special prayer that must be recited while lighting a memorial candle. Some people stop for a few moments to remember the deceased and to spend some time in introspection. Others recite Psalms (121, 130, 142 are suggested).
The meaning behind lighting a Yahrzeit Candle is that in Judaism we see a similarity between a candle's flame and a soul. The connection between flames and souls derives from the Book of Proverbs (chapter 20, verse 27): "The soul of man is the light of God." Just as a flame is never still, the soul also continuously strives to reach up to God. Thus, the flickering flame of the Yahrzeit candle helps to remind us of the departed soul of our loved one.
Yizkor (To Remember) The age-old custom of remembering the souls of the departed and contributing to charity in their memory is embedded in the fundamental Jewish belief in the everlastingness of the soul. The Yizkor service is said on Yom Kippur. The custom is also to recite it on the three Jewish holidays, Passover, Shavout, and Succot. When a person passes on to the next world, the soul can no longer do good deeds to attain merit. But despite the apparent finality of the closing of their book of deeds, when we give charity, do good deeds, or say a prayer this indeed can achieve spiritual elevations, and open the ledger for a rectification of merits for the deceased. Similarly, the Yizkor service can reopen the book of deeds and bring merit and elevation to your loved ones. God treats our prayer and our charity as if the deceased gave it. For if not for them the noble act would not have taken place.
TRANSLATION OF KADDISH May the great Name of God be exalted and sanctified, throughout the world, which he has created according to his will. May his Kingship be established in your lifetime and in your days, and in the lifetime of the entire household of Israel, swiftly and in the near future; and say, Amen. May his great name be blessed, forever and ever. Blessed, praised, glorified, exalted, extolled, honored elevated and lauded be the Name of the holy one, Blessed is he- above and beyond any blessings and hymns, Praises and consolations which are uttered in the world; and say Amen. May there be abundant peace from Heaven, and life, upon us and upon all Israel; and say, Amen. He who makes peace in his high holy places, may he bring peace upon us, and upon all Israel; and say Amen.

KADDISH TRANSLITERATION Yis'ga'dal v'yis'kadash sh'may ra'bbo, b'olmo dee'vro chir'usay v'yamlich malchu'say, b'chayaychon uv'yomay'chon uv'chayay d'chol bais Yisroel, ba'agolo u'viz'man koriv; v'imru Omein. Y'hay shmay rabbo m'vorach l'olam ul'olmay olmayo. Yisborach v'yishtabach v'yispoar v'yisromam v'yismasay, v'yishador v'yis'aleh v'yisalal, shmay d'kudsho, brich hu, l'aylo min kl birchoso v'sheeroso, tush'bechoso v'nechemoso, da,ameeran b'olmo; vimru Omein. Y'hay shlomo rabbo min sh'mayo, v'chayim alaynu v'al kol Yisroel; v'imru Omein. Oseh sholom bimromov, hu ya'aseh sholom olaynu, v'al kol yisroel; vimru Omein.*