Yizkor, the term often used to refer to Hazkarat Nefashot (the collective Memorial Service), has a deep resonance for those remembering loved ones. It originally took place only on Yom Kippur (on the eve of Yom Kippur among Sefardim, and during the day among Ashkenazim). In Ashkenazic liturgy, it was later added to the eighth day of Passover, the second day of Shavuot, and Shemini Atzeret. It is recited in Israel on the seventh day of Passover and the (only) day of Shavuot as well as on Shemini Atzeret. The halakhic requirements of Hazkarat Nefashot are minimal (O.H. 621.6 ReMA; Rabbi Eliyahu Munk, Olam Hatefillot, 2.163-164), and in general circumstances, one may recite it privately at home if one cannot attend a synagogue. For congregations offline on the eighth day of Passover, rabbis may conduct Hazkarat Nefashot online during Hol Hamoed or provide guidance for private observance on the eighth day. Rabbis may rely on the previous guidance offered by the CJLS regarding Kaddish Yatom. Donating to charities on behalf of deceased loved ones is also advised.
To download the service for Yizkor as a PDF, please visit our Pesah publications page.