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What is a Yahrzeit

What is a Yahrzeit?

In the Jewish community, yahrzeit is the anniversary of someone’s death, especially a parent’s or family member, but it can be for anyone of importance. It is a time of remembering by reciting the memorial prayer; The Kaddish, and lighting a 25-hour candle.

What is a Yahrzeit and a Yahrzeit Candle?

A Yahrzeit (Yiddish for “a year’s time”) is the anniversary of the death of a loved one. Every year it is Jewish custom (minhag) to light a special candle that burns for 25 hours, called a Yahrzeit candle. The candle is lit on the Yahrzeit date of that person’s death, as well as on certain holidays and during the initial mourning period immediately following a death.

Traditionally Yahrzeit candles are lit for the same deceased relatives that one would recite the Mourner’s Kaddish for parents, spouses, siblings, and children, but there is no reason one could not light a Yahrzeit candle to honor the anniversary of the death of someone who doesn’t fall into one of these categories (e.g. a friend, grandparent, boyfriend/girlfriend, etc.). Jewish religious law (halachah) does not require lighting Yahrzeit candles, but the tradition has become an important part of Jewish life and mourning.

Remembering an important person with We Were There Too’s Memorial Wall

This site allows you create a Yahrzeit, or digital memorial, for members of the Jewish community in London during the First World War. You can choose to create a memorial in a number of ways and for a variety of reasons. 

  • A Yahrzeit can be made for anyone with a Personal Record on this site; whether you are related to, or know them or not. 

  • You may want to remember someone on behalf of your whole family.

  • You do not have to be the author of their Personal Record either; you may choose to remember anyone, because they may interest you, because they may not have yet been Memorialised, or simply as a tribute to the First World War Jewish community of London. 

  • You can Remember as many people on this website as you like, it all helps to preserve the memories and stories of the community.

What do I need to do to create a Yahrzeit on We Were There Too’s Memorial Wall?

The only thing required to remember somone is that a record of them exists on this website, then you can create their Yahrzeit.

Creating a Record:

You can decide to only add the basics. Simple information, such as their name, birthday, day they passed away, place of residence or what they did during the war. If the person you wish to remember doesn’t have a Personal Record yet; please start one here.

Choose to Remember someone who already has a Personal Record on this site:

Browse the Memorial Wall or search the Personal Records and when you find who you would like to remember, click on their candle icon; this will take you through the process.

What will a creating a Yahrzeit for someone with We Were There Too mean?

For a small one-off payment (please see our Remember Someone page for details) you will permanently memorialise the person of your choice in the following ways;

  • Fourteen days before the anniversary date of the Yahrzeit date, you will receive an email alert to remind you their Yahrzeit is coming up. You can add the email addresses of relatives and friends to send them a Reminder as well.

  • On their Yahrzeit day, you will receive a further reminder.

  • Their name and portrait will be displayed in the On This Day page of this site to commemorate them - much like a plaque you may sponsor in a synagogue.

  • They will always appear within the Memorial Wall for anyone to visit.

  • You will be able to share the link to this online Yahrzeit via an email you will be sent on the day as well.

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