In commemoration of and the remembrance of the deceased

In commemoration of and the remembrance of the deceased

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To be commemorated is the person’s will to keep forever the remembrance of his dear one.  Dealing with the separation from a member of the family is difficult and painful.  Commemoration is your important contribution that help one deal with it.  According to Jewish tradition, the departed one’s soul is connected to this world, especially to us the family members, also after death. 

Therefore, make sure to maintain the connection with the soul with spiritual means that are expressed in our world as good deeds that are done on behalf of the soul, for the ascension of the soul, to a better place in the Garden of Eden.  As such, for example, we see to it to make a special prayer on the holiest day of the year, Yom Kippur, and other holidays, the “Yizkor”, when we mention the names of the departed ones and we pray on their behalf as well as pledging charity for them after the holiday. 

The Lubavitcher Rebbe writes in one of his holy letters (volume 15, p. 379), “The matter is simple, based on faith, and even intellectually, that the soul is eternal, especially the soul of a Jew, whish is a divine part of the One Above, literally.

From this it’s also understood, that the soul always yearns to ascend, and while it’s in a material body in this world, it’s within its reach by practicing Torah and mitzvot to ascend to a higher level.  However, when the soul leaves the body, it can’t be done by the person, but only by those that want good for the soul, to do in the merit of the soul, by others adding in the doing and practice of Torah and mitzvot in the merit of the soul.  In order for Torah study and the performance of the mitzvot to be done right, one must definitely be happy and with gladness of heart, for we merit doing the will of the Giver of the Torah, as well as meriting to cause the soul to ascend to a higher level.”

“The soul lives and exists and one can accomplish a lot on its behalf, and one must be happy for being given this ability; sadness, Heaven forefend, or even bitterness, is an indication of weakness of faith to inspire the soul.” 

As per the verse in the book of Ecclesiastes, chapter 7, verse 2, “And the living will give to his heart”, the Rebbe explains that the impact our good deeds have in honor of the departed soul, comes back at us, thereby affording us blessings and good luck that we deserve from Heaven as a result.

We will make sure to commemorate your dear one in the best place possible

A magnificent commemorative plaque and an eternal candle fixture with the name of your dear one in our synagogue in the yeshiva will remind all of your dear one.

Torah study of hundreds of our students from the morning until the evening together with prayers in the yeshiva will be dedicated to the ascension of his/her soul.

On the day of the yahrzeit, we will arrange for a special day of learning for the soul.

Pictures of the commemorative plaque will be sent tot you immediately after the completion.

You can be rest assured and you should know that you are placing this responsibility and great merit into the best hands ever!!

What is the true commemoration?

It says in the book of Ecclesiastes, written by King Solomon, the wisest of all men, “It’s better to go to the house of a mourner than to a party, for it’s the end of all people, and the living will give to his heart.”  This verse was said by the wisest of all men (Ecclesiastes, chapter 7, verse 2) was often said by the Lubavitcher Rebbe during the first year after the departure of the soul of the Rebbe’s wife, the Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka of blessed memory.  This verse sets the tone of his reaction of the “living” on the demise of a Jew; to contemplate about the purpose of life in a general sense, and in a more specific sense – to learn from the good deeds of the departed one and to implement them. 

This is, in actuality, the true commemoration of the departed one that causes us to be objective and to do good deeds, thereby continuing in their footsteps in our world, and by doing so, we will also continue to remember our dear one and to commemorate him in our midst.  Acting in this spirit causes the soul satisfaction in the supernal worlds, also affording us abundant blessing and luck from Heaven. 

The desirable path for life

“And the living will give to his heart”.  If every person would instill in his heart the basic facts of life, the fact that we are living in a temporary existence, the fact that upon the completion of our stay in this world, an eternal world awaits us, our entire life would change for the good.  Our relationship to our Creator and to our fellow would improve unrecognizably. 

Life with self-discipline is more qualitative.  Such life would give rise to the ideal society, a society where everyone only tries to do the best and most useful.

A person following this path constantly thinks into and is critical of his actions, and tries to improve them, aspires to go higher and reach the heights.  The concept of “the mourner’s home” serves the person as an indicator as a situation that requires deep thought and self-evaluation. 

What happens on the day of the yahrzeit?

On the day of the yahrzeit, the day the soul departed from this world, the soul starts a new period and an upward trek to a place unknown to it prior.  This is alluded to by the need to recite the kaddish on this day, and every year on this same date again, The recital of the kaddish starts with the words, “May His great name be aggrandized and glorified”, meaning to aggrandize and sanctify the great name of the Creator of the universe.  As such, we are saying that whatever comes from Him is the best, even though this may not be so evident in our situation.  As is related in the holy books, when we recite the kaddish, the departed one’s soul ascends to a higher spiritual level,   As such, there is a significant need on our behalf to do new things and additional good deeds as per the verse, “And the living will give to his heart”, meaning to follow in the footsteps of our dear one and continue to do the same in our world, actions that will cause an additional ascension of the soul during this year on this great and important day. 

True life continues for eternity​
True life is eternal. Life doesn’t end at the time of death, but continues and are expressed in a person’s descendants throughout life that continue in this world. From this aspect, the events that take place after a person’s death testify as to the nature of life, for thusly the true essence of life is determined. Our Sages said, “Jacob our forefather didn’t die”. The explanation is, “Just as his children are alive, so too is he alive,” meaning that when his children continue in his way and paths, we know that he is also alive.”

Commemorate now that which is most dear to you

A commemorative plaque, an eternal light fixture

One-time payment
$ 30 Up to 12 payments
  • A beautiful commemorative plaque
  • Torah study and prayers dedicated daily
  • A special day of Torah study on the day of the yahrzeit
  • Pictures of the commemorative plaque with the conclusion of the transaction

A commemorative plaque with an eternal light fixture

Payment with monthly direct debit
$ 17 17 USD up to 24 months
  • A beautiful commemorative plaque
  • Torah study and prayers dedicated daily
  • A special day of Torah study on the day of the yahrzeit
  • Pictures of the commemorative plaque with the conclusion of the transaction

Jacob’s true life are connected to “his children”. By his descendants following in his footsteps, his life is also continued. By doing so, Jacob our forefather’s life is continued forever, even in this material world.

When the Torah describes the demise of Jacob our forefather, it uses the word “and he expired” but doesn’t use the word “and he died”.  “…And Jacob started commanding his sons, and he gathered in his legs to the bed, and he expired, and he was gathered into his nation…”  (Genesis, chapter 49, verse 33).  As such, the Talmud says (tractate Taanit 5:B), “Jacob our forefather didn’t die.”  The Talmud asks, “Then for no reason he was embalmed and buried?”  The answer the Talmud gives is learned from the verse, “And you Jacob, have no fear…for I will save you from afar as well as your children from the land of their captivity.”  The Talmud is equating Jaccob and his children – “Just as his children are alive, he also is alive.” 

Superficially speaking, the Talmud doesn’t answer the question.  How can we say that Jacob our forefather didn’t die?  He was eulogized, embalmed and buried?  Furthermore, one must understand how the fact of “his children are living” brings about the fact that “he also is living”. 

The truth of life

 It’s evident that when the Talmud says the “Jacob our forefather didn’t die”, it doesn’t mean to negate the seen reality of the human eye.  This isn’t factual truth.  But the Torah itself is bearing witness that they eulogized him, embalmed him and buried him, and certainly the Torah is the truth.  The Talmud’s question is, “Did they eulogize him, embalm him and bury him for no reason?  The answer is that “The verse I’m expounding”, meaning that even though the Torah itself is bearing witness that they buried Jacob, an explicit verse comes along and teaches us what is the true existence of Jacob our forefather and what is his true life, and from this aspect, “Jacob our forefather didn’t die.”

Eternal truth

 Jacob our forefather’s unique quality is, as it says, “Give the true to Jacob”, meaning that his attribute is the attribute of truth, and since the truth is eternal and unchangeable, one must say that the life of Jacob our forefather continues eternally, not only in the upper world, but also in this world.  And this is the Talmud’s answer: “Just as his children are alive, so is he alive.”  Jacob’s true life is connected to his children.  When his descendants continue in his footsteps, his life also continues.  Thusly, Jacob our forefather’s life continues forever in this material world also.

 Nature and above nature

 Thusly, Jacob our forefather’s life exists on 2 simultaneous plains. On the one hand, the natural plain, for it’s also part of the divine truth, and from this aspect the Torah says that they eulogized and buried him.  On the other hand, there is the higher tier of reality, which states that “Jacob our forefather didn’t die.”  So too, both the natural and the supernatural plains in the lives of his children run simultaneously.  On the one hand Jews live in this world and are bound to its limitations, yet at the same time G-d promises that “You cling to G-d, your G-d, all of you alive today.” 

This is the secret of existence of the Jewish nation, a nation that lives according to nature in the world, while at the same time its entire existence is super natural.  This state of eternal existence will be expressed when the resurrection of the dead takes place when the entire Jewish nation will merit eternal life in the simplest sense. 

(From the Lubavitcher Rebbe, from the book “Shulchan Shabbat”, adapted and based on “Likutei Sichot”, volume 26, p. 7 and volume 35, page 223).                            

A great wonder arises as to the name of the weekly Torah portion of “Chayei Sarah”. Because the Torah portion discusses on Sarah’s death and that which occurred afterwards. Why then is the Torah portion called “Chayei Sarah”, the life of Sarah?

The entire Torah portion of Chayei Sarah in the book of Genesis (chapter 23, verse 1) deals with things that happened after our matriarch Sarah’s demise:  The purchase of the Miarat Hamachpeila in order to bury her, Yitzchak’s marriage to Rivkah, when he is comforted after his mother’s death.  At the end of the Torah portion, the Torah discusses Abraham’s marriage to Keturah (Hagar) and about Yishmael’s children.  As such, a great wonder arises as to the name of the Torah portion “Chayei Sarah”, contrary to the contents of the Torah portion, because it’s known the name of the Torah portion is of the ultimate preciseness.  Therefore, we must say that there exists a deep connection between the contents of the Torah portion and the true essence of “Chayei Sarah”. 

 The nature of life

 True life is eternal.  Life doesn’t finish at death, but continues and is expressed with the person’s descendants and what happens as life goes on afterwards in the world.  From this aspect, what takes place after death testifies as to the nature of life, as thusly the true essence of man is measured. 

Our Sages said, “Our forefather Jacob didn’t die”, meaning that just as his children are alive, so too is he alive.”  In other words, when his children follow in his footsteps and paths, then we know that he is also alive.” 

As such, precisely in our Torah portion that relate the events that took place after Saraha’s demise, we see the eternality of her life.  We see Rivkah, who continues in the way of Sarah (as the verse says, “And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent,” to which Rashi explains, “And behold she is Sarah his mother”) and causes the renewal of the 3 miracles that took place in her days. 

Furthermore, all of the events that took place in the Torah portion teach us that Sarah’s way is what eternalized her. 

Sarah and Abraham

 Here we have to distinguish between Sarah and Abraham.  Sarah was only Isaac’s mother.  Since his birth, she desired that the divine flow be diverted to Isaac, for he represents holiness.  In contrast, Abraham was the father of other nations (Yishmael and the children of Ketura (Hagar)) and he gave whatever he had to all of his children.  Sarah wanted to banish “the son of the servant”, but Abraham was troubled over the matter and also prayed for Yishmael. 

The events that are related in our Torah portion precisely testify as to the righteousness of the way of Sarah.  The Torah portion begins with the story of the Miorat Hamachpeila.  Originally, the cave was the burial site of Adam and Eve, the parents of the entire human race.  We see here that Abraham purchases the cave for Sarah’s burial, yet in actuality that only the patriarchs and matriarchs  of the Jewish nation are buried there as per Sarah’s aspiration, who requested to divert the divine flow only to her son Isaac. 

In due course – the Jewish nation

 In addition, the second event, Eliezer’s mission.  Regarding Eliezer, Abraham’s most important student, it says that “he would draw and give to drink from the teachings of his master”.  He also merited many miracles.  Still, when he asked Abraham that Isaac his son marry his daughter, he was turned down, to which Abraham answered, “My son is blessed and you are cursed; the cursed doesn’t cling to the blessed.” 

The end of the Torah portion also proves this point.  The Torah says that “Abraham gave everything he had to Isaac.”  But to his concubines he gave presents and sent them away from Isaac his son.  Thusly the Torah portion attests to the righteous way of Sarah our matriarch, who saw continuity specifically with her son Isaac and requested that the divine flow be diverted to him. Therefore the Torah portion is called “Chayei Sarah”, because specifically through her do we reveal the eternality and righteousness of her life. 

(From the Lubavitcher Rebbe, taken from the book “Shulchan Shabbat” and adapter from “Likutei Sichot, volume 15, page 145).

Why do we light a candle in memory of the deceased?

It says in the book of Proverbs, “For the candle of G-d is the soul of man.”  The soul is compared to a candle.  Just as the candle has 2 parts, its spiritual part, the fire, and its material part, the candle itself or the wick that holds the flame, so too it is with the body of a Jew. 

Man’s soul is the incessantly burning fire that always tries to return to its source from where it came Above.  The body is the candle (or the wick) that holds the fire and brings it down to act in the world.  Fire, in contrast to the other 3 elements (wind, water and dust)  from which all material beings are created, who nature is to go down, has the nature to ascend and rise.  This is because fire remained spiritual even as it is a creation in our material world, always aspiring to return and to connect to its source, our Father in Heaven.  This is the reason for the soul’s eternality even after it leaves man’s body.  Therefore, importance is attributed to our good deeds, even after death, which creates an incessant ascent of the soul after the person’s demise.

What else is proper to do in memory of and for the ascension of the soul?

To light a yahrzeit lamp during the week of mourning and if possible throughout the year of mourning. A weekly candle can be purchased in the store. 

The daily recital of the kaddish for the 11 months from the day of death as well as the day of the yahrzeit every year.

Learning Mishnayot is very effective for the ascension of the soul of your dear one.

Saying chapters in the book of Psalms.

Going up to the Torah, especially on the holy Shabbat helps substantially the soul of the departed.

The dedication of Torah sessions in the synagogue or in the yeshiva for the soul of the deceased. One should announce before the session starts or to hang up a sign with the departed’s name and that of his parents. 

You can donate to us in the yeshiva and dedicate a whole day of learning and special prayer; so too we can learn for you Mishnayot according to the name of the deceased for the ascension of the soul.

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