Thursday, February 2, 2012

Yahrzeit Candle on the Birthday?

Tanta Golda,
I read your blog about lighting Yahrzeit candles (Oct ’10) and I was wondering: can I light a candle to honor my deceased father’s birthday?
Dutiful Daughter
Dearest Dutiful,
What a lovely question! To answer let us first look at why we light Yahrzeit candles in the first place. It is believed that the candle represents the soul of the departed which is never extinguished in our hearts. Like the flame of a candle, a human life is fragile and should be nourished and cherished. As it says in Proverbs, "The soul of man is the candle of G-d."
In other words, we light the candles so that every time we see the flame we are reminded of our loved ones. There is no prohibition that Tanta Golda can find against lighting a candle in addition to the traditional times (anniversary of their passing, erev Yom Kippur, and the conclusion of the three pilgrimage holidays: Sukkot, Pesach, & Shavuot.) I can see nothing wrong with wanting to honor and remember your father on his birthday by lighting a Yahrzeit candle. Yahrzeit candles 
May their memories be a blessing - Tanta G


  1. Thank you, Tanta Golde. I have been searching for this answer since today would have been my sister's birthday.

  2. I'm glad that I was able to answer your question. It sounds like she was someone very special in your life. May her memories bring you mostly joy. TG

  3. Thank you so much. I have lighted a candle for my deceased father and uncle's birthday (twins).

    1. Ligeia - I'm pleased that you found my explanation helpful. I hope that in watching the candle you are able to dwell on pleasant memories of these two, dear men. May their memories be for a blessing. TG


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