Yizkor (Memorial Service)

Yizkor (Memorial Service) The ancient custom of recalling the soul of the departed and contributing to charity in their memory is rooted in the fundamental Jewish believe in the eternity of the soul when physical life ends, only the body dies, but the soul ascends to realm of the spirit where it regularly attains higher levels of purity and holiness.

When this life is over, the soul can no longer perform good deeds, that method of attaining merit is the sole province of mortal man who must struggle with the baseness and selfishness of is animal nature. But there is a way that the disembodied soul can drive new sources of merit.

History is continuum if we, the living give charity or do good deeds due to the lasting influence or in memory of a departed parent or other loved one; one merit is truly that of the soul in its spiritual realm. More over God in his mercy credits our deeds to the departed one because he or she too would have done the same where its possible, bet mere intentions do not suffice, only accomplishment can achieve this purpose. The intentions are both necessary.

The earliest source of the Yizkor custom is Midrash Tanchuma which cites the custom of recalling the departed and pleading charity on their behalf on Yom Kippur Ahskenzic Jewry’s custom of reciting Yizkor on the three pilgrimage festivals is of a later origin possibly the time of the crusades. When bloody massacres wiped out many Jewish communities and seriously hurt many others. The three festivals which the Torah ordains as times of charity were chosen as times to remember the dead and pray generosity of the living should be a source, of merit for other souls.

May God remember the soul of my father, mother, relative, martyrs.

Yizkor, the memorial service for the departed is recited by the Kabalist’s group in Jerusalem for your father, mother, relative and martyr.