What Is Yizkor?

Yizkor, a special memorial prayer for the departed, is recited in the synagogue four times a year, following the Torah reading on the last day of Passover, on the second day of Shavuot, on Shemini Atzeret and on Yom Kippur.

Yizkor, in Hebrew, means “Remember.” It is not only the first word of the prayer, it also represents its overall theme. In this prayer, we implore G‑d to remember the souls of our relatives and friends who have passed on.1

Why a Bookmark?

Each time I prepare myself for the Yizkor service, I review all the people whom I must include in my prayer. I began saying Yizkor after my father passed away when I was just 11 years old. Since then, as more special people have left this world, I have added them to my mental Yizkor list.

This past May, I lost my beloved sister. The first Yizkor service following her passing was merely a few weeks later, on Shavuot. When I left the service I asked my younger sister if she was okay, and she responded, “Oh! I forgot to include Aunt Karen.” When I saw my brother, he also mentioned that he forgot to include one of our relatives. We were so focused on the emotional task of saying Yizkor for our sister that we simply forgot people whom we have included for years.

For those of you who recite Yizkor, have you ever stood there in synagogue—about to honor the departed—when their Hebrew name suddenly slipped your mind?

At jCreate, we wanted to find a solution to this problem, so your mind can rest at ease and focus on the important task of honoring your relatives and friends.

My team and I have created a beautiful Yizkor bookmark that you can print off your own computer. Write down all the names that need to be included for yourself. Once it is all filled in, take it to your store and laminate the card so you can use it year after year. You can reprint to add new names when needed. It makes a wonderful bookmark for your machzor.

Print your bookmark here.