What is Yizkor?
Yizkor means “remembrance” in Hebrew and most commonly refers to memorial prayer services held four times a year during Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Passover and Shavuot. Jewish people believe in the eternity of the soul. It is common belief that by saying Yizkor, remembering a loved one and giving charity in a loved one’s name helps his or her soul gain merit from our good deeds. Reciting Yizkor may also serve as a very important and reflective time for individuals honoring and commemorating loved ones.
When do you say Yizkor?
Yizkor is said on the first holiday after an individual passes away. Synagogues hold Yizkor services four times a year:
- Yom Kippur
- Shemini Atzeret (last day of Sukkot)
- the last (8th) day of Passover
- the last (2nd) day of Shavuot (the second day of Shavuot, in communities that observe Shavuot for two days)
If you do not belong to a synagogue or cannot attend services, the Yizkor service and prayers can be said privately at your home.
Here is our Yizkor Guide.