Honoring the memory of a loved one is a powerful and important tradition in Judiasm. For centuries, the commemoration of Yahrzeits (literally "time of year") has linked each generation with those who have gone before and bound the Jewish people with our history.
Lighting the Yahrzeit candle is probably the best known of Yahrzeit customs. The candle is lit on the eve of the anniversary of the death without a prescribed blessing. The flame of the candle is often compared to the soul. As you pass by during the 24 hours it will remain lit, you remember the light that person brought to your life.
Jewish tradition also asks that we perform a mitzvah in the memory of out loved one around their yahrzeit. For centuries, Jews have chosen the mitzvah of tzedakah. One reason given that the mitzvah of tzedakah was chosen is that when someone donated in memory of a loved one, the spiritual "credit" for that gift is shared with the departed and their memory is thereby elevated.
I wanted to make you aware that you may memorialize a deceased family member in two ways. One option is to make a donation to one of our existing funds and the second way is by purchasing a Yahrzeit plaque that is prominently displayed in the Beth Tikvah hallway. Our Yahrzeit wall serves as a reminder of family members who have passed away. It marks the anniversary with a lit bulb on the name plate to commemorate their life.
Please consider this offer to honor a loved one. Feel free to direct any questions to either myself or the Temple office. The price of this Yahrzeit plaque is a one-time fee of $600 which includes all engraving and set-up costs.
May the memory of your loved one be a blessing for you and the entire house of Israel.