What is Yizkor...
According to Jewish tradition, on the anniversary of a person's death we light a memorial candle, "Ner Neshamah" the lamp of the soul, and say the
Kaddish, a special prayer that helps the soul in its journey through eternity. This day is known by the Yiddish term, Yarzheit, meaning "a year's time".
For many victims of Holocaust, the precise date of their death is not known, and for these souls Yom Kippur, the Holiest day on the Jewish calendar, is given as their Yarzheit.
In addition to commemorating a person's Yarzheit, a special memorial service is held in the synagogue on certain Jewish holidays (Yom Kippur, Pesach, Shavuot, Succot). At these times during the year, the Yizkor prayer is recited and those who have lost loved ones insert the name(s) of family members into the "Moleh Rachamim" prayer.
In many syangogues, a communal Yizkor remembrance is recited in memory of those who perished in the Holocaust. In many synagogues, congregants, including children, are encouraged to remain in the sanctuary during the recitation of this special "Moleh Rachamim".
The literal translation of the word, Yizkor is: "He will remember"; "He" being a reference to G-d, to HaShem. But we, too, are obligated to remember those we lost with a call to give charity and to perform charitable acts in memory of those who have passed.
The YIZKOR project remembers the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust and honors their memory by helping to support the needs of aging Holocaust survivors and Righteous Gentiles.
Shoah Victims' Names Recovery Campaign
"Since 1955, Yad Vashem has worked to fulfill its mandate to preserve the memory of the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust by collecting their names, the ultimate representation of a persons identity. However, millions of victims remain unidentified. Yad Vashem urgently calls upon Jewish communities to help recover their names through the Names Recovery Project or we risk losing some of them forever." (excerpted from yadvashem.org)
Please contact the YIZKOR project if you know of survivors who have not recorded their own testimony or submitted a "Page of Testimony" for someone who perished in the Shoah.
Moleh Rachamim (Full of Mercy)
G-d full of mercy who dwells on high. Protector of widows and father for the fatherless. Please be not silent and show no restraint on behalf of the Jewish blood that has been spilled like water. But grant perfect rest on the wings of Your Divine Presence in the lofty abode of the holy, pure and valiant who shine as the brightness of the heavens to the souls of our brothers and sisters. Six million Jewish men, women and children who were put to death, slaughtered, burned, starved, buried alive, or who suffered other forms of unnatural death at the hands of the accursed Nazis and their associates - may their name be wiped out!
In Auschwitz, Treblinka, Majdanek, Mauthausen and in other death camps in Europe. And who gave up their lives in order to sanctify G-d's name. Because we are at one with their memory and we pray for the elevation of their souls. Their resting place shall be in the Garden of Eden. Therefore, shall the Master of Mercy care for them under the protection of His wings for all time, and bind their souls in the bond of everlasting life.
O Earth! Do not conceal their blood and let there not be a resting place for their cry. In their merit shall the remnant of Israel return to its rightful place. And as for the holy ones, their righteousness shall be in front of the L-rd as an everlasting memory. They will come in peace and will rest in peace. They will meet their rightful destiny at the end of days and let us say Amen.
Memorial Tribute Wall
Click here to learn how you can become part of the YIZKOR project and help to support those who have already endured so much.
"remembering those we lost, honoring those who survived ...."