The Phases of Jewish Bereavement

Jewish mourning customs reflect the natural course of grief and recovery following the death of a loved one.

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Phase Five: Yahrzeit

Time: Anniversary of the day of death.

Major Practices: Say Kaddishat prayer services in the synagogue, light a memorial candle, give tzedakah [charitable donations].

Phase Six: Yizkor (for Seven Relatives)

Time: Yom Kippur, Shemini Atzeret, last day of Passover, second day of Shavuot. [In communities that observe only one day of Shavuot, Yizkor is said on that day. In many communities, Yizkor is also said on Rosh Hashanah, the second day of Sukkot and the second day of Passover.]

Major Practices: Recite special memorial services in the synagogue, light memorial candle (although some.light a candle only on Yom Kippur), give tzedakah.


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Dr. Ron Wolfson

Dr. Ron Wolfson is the Fingerhut Professor of Education at American Jewish University and the president of Synagogue 3000.