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Why do we light Yahrtzeit candles?

  

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


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Rabbi Shlomo: Welcome. I'll be with you in a moment...what's on your mind?

Mr. L: Why do we light yahrtzeit candles?

Rabbi Shlomo: It is to remember the soul of the departed -- souls are compared to and called candles; as the verse1 says "The candle of G-d is the soul of man."

Mr. L: So is that also why we light a candle immediatly after the passing of someone?

Rabbi Shlomo: correct

Mr. L: And that also must be why they say there is a fire in every Jewish heart.

Rabbi Shlomo: :-)

All names, places, and identifying information have been changed or deleted in order to protect the privacy of the questioners. In order to preserve authenticity, the chat sessions have been posted with a minimum of editing. Please excuse typographical errors, missing punctuation, and/or grammatical mistakes which naturally occur in the course of informal chat sessions.

Footnotes

  • 1. Proverbs 20:27

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G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.
yahrtzeit
The (Jewish calendar) anniversary of a person's death.