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Remembering Loved Ones

Honoring the yahrzeit of a loved one is a long-standing and wonderful Jewish tradition. The yahrzeit is the annual date in the Jewish calendar on which a close relative passed away. Traditionally, we observe these dates for parents, spouses, siblings, and children, although a yahrzeit may also be observed for any close relative or friend that one feels especially close to. The traditional manner of observing yahrzeit involves several rituals: saying the Mourners’ Kaddish during each of the three services (Ma'ariv – evening, Shacharit – morning, and Mincha – afternoon) on the day of yahrzeit, lighting a yahrzeit (twenty-four) candle in one's home the evening that the yahrzeit begins, making a donation to a charity in memory of the deceased, having an aliyah close to the date of a yahrzeit, and in some traditions fasting on the yahrzeit for a parent who passed away.
At Beth El Temple, we honor our members' yahrzeits in several ways:

  • We send a yahrzeit reminder notification to all our members. If one wishes to have someone listed for yahrzeit notification, please contact Rabbi Sowalsky at and he will take care of that.
  • We will say the "kel malay rachamim" prayer on behalf of your loved one during the week when we read Torah (generally Saturday afternoon, Monday & Thursday mornings) if you request to have that done. A form for such is sent along with every yahrzeit letter reminder. Additionally, you may wish to donate to Beth El Temple in memory of your loved one. The form for the "kel malay rachamim" prayer may also be found by clicking here.
  • We list in our weekly flyer all the names of the yahrzeits of our members. The list is on the back page of our flyer and starts with Shabbat and ends the following Friday. if you wish, you can also come on a Friday night around the date of your loved one's yahrzeit and have their name read at services and also say Kaddish. If you wish to do that, please contact Rabbi Sowalsky at
  • For those who wish, one may purchase (for $600, effective July 1, 2022) a yahrzeit plaque. This metallic plaque is a permanent remembrance of your loved one at Beth El Temple. All the yahrzeit plaques (we have over 1000) are in our beautiful chapel, and each week, the plaques corresponding to the yahrzeits for that week (Shabbat to Friday) are hung on a special board in the chapel. If you wish to purchase a plaque for a loved one who has passed, please click here.
  • Lastly, in our Sanctuary Lobby, we have a beautiful "Tree of Life" for which one can buy a leaf (for $500, effective July 1, 2022) and memorialize your loved one. If you are interested in such, please click here.


Mon, May 20 2024 12 Iyyar 5784