Thinking & Feeling

“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.” Horace Walpole

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Natey's Yahrzeit Memorial

Firstly a disclaimer: I am not Jewish, so I am by no means an expert on anything relating to Judaism. But Andrew and his family are, and Natey was too...

Well technically Natey hadn't had his official conversion yet, which was required due to the fact that I am not Jewish - and yes very strictly in Judaism if the mother is not Jewish the child cannot be - which would have required a sort of water-baptism etc. But he did have a Bris on the 8th day, he attended a Jewish school, we sat Shiva with a Rabbi and observed the basic Jewish customs when he died (although again, he was cremated, which is not traditionally allowed in Judaism). So let's say, like Andrew, he was going to be 'culturally Jewish' if not fully compliant.

Anyway, the point is having been exposed to Judaism through Andrew and Natey now, I have seen and learned a fair amount about it and I have found that the customs and strong sense of community of it are pretty special and meaningful.

One of the traditions of Judaism is the Yahrzeit.

What is the Yahrzeit?*
The word ‘Yahrzeit’ is Yiddish and is translated to mean “time of year" and taken to mean the anniversary of a death. In Judaism, there is a focus on carrying on the memory of those before us from generation to generation. Based on Jewish law, the Yahrzeit is the day one year following the death of a loved one as calculated in accordance with the Hebrew calendar. This remembrance is performed annually by reciting the Mourner’s Kaddish and burning a Yahrzeit candle for 24 hours. Traditionally, the observance begins on the anniversary of the Hebrew date of death and the candle is lit at sunset. 

The Yahrzeit candle reminds people of the fragility of life and encourages them to embrace their life and that of their loved ones. A candle is often believed to be a symbol of the soul. This is one of the core reasons that candles are such an integral part of the Jewish religion.
Traditionally, mourners keep the candle lit for the entire 25 hours from sundown on the eve of the yahrzeit to sunset on the day of the yahrzeit and allow it to burn itself out. 

When the Yahrzeit candle is lit, the intent and focus for individuals is to take time out of the day to remember, honour and celebrate the life of the loved one. Traditionally, you will find that the Mourner’s Kaddish is recited on the Yahrzeit. It is customary and suggested that family and friends use this time to share stories and reflect upon the person who has passed and the legacy he or she has left behind.

As mentioned the official Yahrzeit is calculated according to the Hebrew calendar, which differs from the Gregorian calendar we use in daily life.

We will be using Natey's normal calendar date (30 December) as a day of memory for him, but will also be mindful and light a Yahrzeit candle for him on his Hebrew anniversary, which for those of you in the know is on Tevet 1.

This means that today, 19 December 2017 is Natey's Yahrzeit.
And coincidentally Natey died pretty much spot on at Sunset so the time of lighting the candle - which is at sunset - coincides almost perfectly.

Sunset today is at 19:56.

Sunset on 30 December is at 20:00.

#DoingItForNatey  #LiveLongDays

Natey's official Yahrzeit dates:
01 TEVET 5777
Tevet 1, 5777,"Friday, 30 December 2016"
Tevet 1, 5778,"Tuesday, 19 December 2017"
Tevet 1, 5779,"Sunday, 9 December 2018"
Tevet 1, 5780,"Sunday, 29 December 2019"
Tevet 1, 5781,"Wednesday, 16 December 2020"
Tevet 1, 5782,"Sunday, 5 December 2021"
Tevet 1, 5783,"Sunday, 25 December 2022"
Tevet 1, 5784,"Wednesday, 13 December 2023"
Tevet 1, 5785,"Wednesday, 1 January 2025"
Tevet 1, 5786,"Sunday, 21 December 2025"
Tevet 1, 5787,"Friday, 11 December 2026"
Tevet 1, 5788,"Friday, 31 December 2027"
Tevet 1, 5789,"Tuesday, 19 December 2028"
Tevet 1, 5790,"Friday, 7 December 2029"
Tevet 1, 5791,"Friday, 27 December 2030"
Tevet 1, 5792,"Tuesday, 16 December 2031"
Tevet 1, 5793,"Friday, 3 December 2032"
Tevet 1, 5794,"Friday, 23 December 2033"
Tevet 1, 5795,"Wednesday, 13 December 2034"
Tevet 1, 5796,"Tuesday, 1 January 2036"
Tevet 1, 5797,"Friday, 19 December 2036"
Tevet 1, 5798,"Wednesday, 9 December 2037"
Tevet 1, 5799,"Tuesday, 28 December 2038"
Tevet 1, 5800,"Sunday, 18 December 2039"
Tevet 1, 5801,"Wednesday, 5 December 2040"
Tevet 1, 5802,"Tuesday, 24 December 2041"
Tevet 1, 5803,"Sunday, 14 December 2042"
Tevet 1, 5804,"Friday, 1 January 2044"
Tevet 1, 5805,"Wednesday, 21 December 2044"
Tevet 1, 5806,"Sunday, 10 December 2045"
Tevet 1, 5807,"Sunday, 30 December 2046"

* Info from: