Yizkor in Hebrew means “to remember.” Memory is transcendence.

We are creatures blessed with memory. We can transcend not only time, but space, and even the boundaries of the physical world.

With the memory of your parents, you break through the barrier between the physical world in which you dwell and the spiritual one to which they have ascended. As you connect to them through your memory of them here in this world, so do they connect to you by remembering you from their world.

In the prayer, we pledge to give charity in their memory. When we give charity on their behalf, their souls ascend yet higher with that merit. And they then provide to you guidance and blessing, much more than they were able to from within this world.

See Yizkor: Recalling the Dead, from the Jewish Death and Mourning minisite.