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Elevating the souls . Yizkor – remembering

Elevating the souls

Yizkor – remembering

Your dear ones are lying in the earth in This World but their souls are in Heaven yearning greatly to observe mitzvahs and good deeds, in order to spare themselves suffering and to merit peace and repose. But they are unable to do so. You, however, the family and friends are able to save them by learning mishnayos, saying kadish and performing good deeds in their merit. If you yourselves cannot learn, Torah scholars can do it for you.


In the holy Zohar Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai writes that after parents' demise the mitzvah of honoring them is even greater than during their lives. It says in Masechta Smachot: He who honors his father and mother after their passing is as if honors them in their lifetime, because when one honors in their lifetime it may be because of fear or because of the inheritance, but he who honors after death is only honoring for the right intentions.


For honoring parents the Torah promises long life.


Elevating souls takes place in the following ways:

Observing Torah and mitzvahs, kadish, learning mishnayos, praying for the elevation of the soul, charity and loving-kindness, lighting a candle.


The virtue of kadish to elevate the soul

Kadish is great praise to the Creator of the world; therefore there is great elevation of the deceased's soul, particularly because it causes the public to answer Amen, which is a very great elevation of the soul; and the early Rabbis and Kabbalists wrote that kadish is said in the first year in order to save the deceased from Gehenna.

To order the saying of the kadish press here.


The virtue of learning Mishnayos to elevate the soul

All over the Jewish world it is customary to learn mishnayos to elevate the souls of the deceased. An allusion to this is in the letters of the word mishna – משנה – which are the same as the word neshama – נשמה   - soul. Our Sages ob''m have said that Asher the son of Yakov sits at the gate of Gehenna and he doesn't allow anyone who learns mishnayos for him to enter Gehenna. This is alluded to in the verse "Mi'Asher shmena lachmo" and the letters of shmena – שמנה – are also the same letters of mishna.

To order the learning of the mishnayos press here.




The virtue of learning the Zohar to elevate the soul

In the opinion of the Kabalists, studying Kabala and the Zohar (the teachings of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai) is of great benefit for the soul, more than other subjects. "…The Zohar is called so because it makes the soul shine (zohar = shining)…. and on the holy Shabbos a person should try harder to learn the holy Zohar because it is holy to G-d like the day of Shabbos…. Dear reader, see how great the study of the Zohar is in Heaven, especially on the holy day of Shabbos that cannot be valued. Certainly the learning will be an elevation for the soul of one's departed father and there will be no end to its benefit and no end to the elevation of the father's soul. His reward is with him, many times over, in his honoring the deceased…."

To order the learning of the Zohar press here.


The great virtue of saying Tehilim (Psalms) to elevate the soul

Concerning the great benefit of learning Tehilim (Psalms) to elevate the souls of the deceased, the Chida ob''m wrote: "In the book Vayakhel Moshe a terrible episode is related about a spirit, and there it says that there is nothing to guard against demons as the saying of kadish and chapters of Psalms. Therefore, sons should be guided that during every day of the year they should learn some of the chapters and say the chapters." In the book Misgeret Hashulchan on the Kitzur Shulchan Oruch it says, "Accordingly, it is worthy to say chapters of Psalms on the yahrzeit, besides learning mishnayos.

To order the saying of Psalms press here.


May G-d remember the soul of my father my teacher/my mother my teacher (X the son/daughter of Y) who went to his/her eternal home, in return for my donating (without vowing) charity on their behalf.  As a reward for that may their souls be bound up in the bond of life with the souls of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Sara, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah, and with all the other righteous ones in Heaven and let us say Amen.

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