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Can one observe a Yahrtzeit if the date of death is unknown?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

  

Library » Life Cycle » Death » Yahrtzeit | Subscribe | What is RSS?


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This question, although rare today, was very common after the Holocaust and during other difficult periods of Jewish history.

If the exact date of death is not known, the family chooses a date when to observe all the yahrtzeit rituals. Any date may be chosen, and this date is considered the Yahrtzeit for all following years, unless the actual date of death is eventually ascertained.


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yahrtzeit
The (Jewish calendar) anniversary of a person's death.