Bereavement & Yahrzeit
When someone we love has died, we grieve. There is no way around that. Judaism tries to give us a graduated path of mourning, raising us up from the abyss of despair to return once more to the life ahead of us, forever changed. Jewish mourning customs reflect this natural course of grief and recovery following the death of a loved one. The emotions of a mourner’s grief may or may not correspond to a set schedule. The experience of bereavement is highly individualistic and while the time may move quickly, the resolution of grief can take months or sometimes years.
NVHC clergy provide pastoral counseling and support for members walking the path of the mourner. Please let us know of your loss, so we can be present and provide spiritual support and resources to you in your grief. Our NVHC Chevra Kadisha Team, as part of NVHC Cares, is a group of congregants who are organized to be a resource supporting our clergy, through member-to-member relationships around matters related to death and dying in our community. If you are interested in participating in this mitzvah work, please contact ShowClick Here to View Contact Information.
Yahrzeit, a Yiddish word meaning anniversary of a death, is the yearly anniversary of a loved one’s death (traditionally the anniversary of the Hebrew date but can also be the Gregorian date).
Proverbs 20:27 teaches: “The soul of a person is the candle of God.” A candle is often believed to be a symbol of the soul. A yahrzeit candle reminds us of the fragility of life and encourages us to embrace our lives and those of our loved ones. Jews observe yahrzeit at home by lighting a special long-burning candle in memory of the deceased and by coming to synagogue on the Shabbat the week of the yahrzeit. We recite Kaddish in memory and honor of loved ones each week. We welcome you and offer you the presence of a supportive community when reading the name of and remembering your loved one’s yahrzeit, adding to the comfort of your memories.
If you would like to add the name of a loved one to our yahrzeit list to be read at services, please do so via ShulCloud, or by contacting ShowClick Here to View Contact Information.