Religion Past and Present

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(297 words)

[German Version]

In Judaism yahrzeit denotes the anniversary of a parent’s death, observed every year. The word itself appears to have been borrowed from the language of the church in the Middle Ages by Ashkenazic Jews (Judaism: II). According to Rashi (on b. Yebam. 122a), the anniversary of the death of famous rabbis was already being solemnly observed in the talmudic period, when their students and the people would make a pilgrimage to the rabbi’s burial site. Although the Talmud (b. Ned. 12a; 14a) already speaks of fasting on the day of a parent’s death and its anniversar…

Cite this page
Hezser, Catherine, “Yahrzeit”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 31 March 2020 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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