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Death & Mourning

I will build an altar from the broken fragments of my heart.

Rabbi Yehuda HaChasid

Honoring Loss & Memory

While we are social distancing and taking every precaution to stop the spread of COVID-19, we will be conducting shiva calls, including services, through Zoom. Rabbi Yael Romer leads the service and the Zoom call is run by our team, ensuring the space remains sacred and respectful. Please reach out to us with any questions. 

Shiva (mourning) can be a time of deep spiritual upheaval. Jewish tradition encompasses the light, the dark, and all gradations in between. Congregation Emanuel of the Hudson Valley is dedicated to honoring the contributions of our dead, the impact of their passing, and to creating an environment for all to find peace with transition and loss.


Yahrzeit is a Yiddish word meaning anniversary of a death. It is the yearly anniversary of a loved one’s death. Jews observe yahrzeit at home by lighting a special long-burning candle in memory of the deceased. Yahrzeit candles are also known as Yizkor candles because they are also lit on behalf of loved ones on the four Jewish holidays (Yom Kippur, Shemini Atzeret, Passover, and Shavuot) that include a Yizkor, or Jewish memorial service. These candles, often packaged inside glass jars, can be purchased at Judaica stores and online here. Many supermarkets carry them as well. It is customary to light the yahrzeit candle at sundown on the Hebrew anniversary (Jewish days begin at sundown, rather than midnight). To find out the Hebrew date of your loved one’s death, use this Hebrew calendar converter.

Learn more here

Congregation Emanuel of the Hudson Valley inters in the Jewish cemetery located within Montrepose Cemetary in Kingston. The historic burial ground is designed to interact harmoniously with the natural habitat and allow mourners tranquility and peace. We are happy to sit down with all of our members to discuss burial options at your convenience. Please contact the front office at 845-338-4271 or

Rabbi Romer honors yahrzeits during every Shabbat service by speaking the names of our loved ones during the season of their yahrzeit as well the names of those who have passed within the year. She also welcomes all those present (members or otherwise) to shares names and be recognized by our community before joining together for the Mourner's Kaddish. If you are a member and need to submit or update the yahrzeits of your loved ones, please send the names and dates and we will enter them into your record. Please visit our Yizkor Page to submit the names of your loved ones for our Yizkor service during the High Holidays. 

Written in Aramaic, the Mourner's Kaddish is the traditional Jewish prayer for the dead. The Mourner's Kaddish is recited on a loved one’s yahrzeit (the Hebrew anniversary of their death) and at Yizkor (memorial) services. Learn more here.


אבל: יִתְגַּדַּל וְיִתְקַדַּשׁ שְׁמֵהּ רַבָּא. [קהל: אמן]
בְּעָלְמָא דִּי בְרָא כִרְעוּתֵהּ וְיַמְלִיךְ מַלְכוּתֵהּ בְּחַיֵּיכון וּבְיומֵיכון וּבְחַיֵּי דְכָל בֵּית יִשרָאֵל בַּעֲגָלָא וּבִזְמַן קָרִיב, וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן: [קהל: אמן]
קהל ואבל: יְהֵא שְׁמֵהּ רַבָּא מְבָרַךְ לְעָלַם וּלְעָלְמֵי עָלְמַיָּא:
אבל: יִתְבָּרַךְ וְיִשְׁתַּבַּח וְיִתְפָּאַר וְיִתְרומַם וְיִתְנַשּא וְיִתְהַדָּר וְיִתְעַלֶּה וְיִתְהַלָּל שְׁמֵהּ דְּקֻדְשָׁא. בְּרִיךְ הוּא. [קהל: בריך הוא:]
לְעֵלָּא מִן כָּל בִּרְכָתָא בעשי”ת: לְעֵלָּא לְעֵלָּא מִכָּל וְשִׁירָתָא תֻּשְׁבְּחָתָא וְנֶחֱמָתָא דַּאֲמִירָן בְּעָלְמָא. וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן: [קהל: אמן]
יְהֵא שְׁלָמָא רַבָּא מִן שְׁמַיָּא וְחַיִּים עָלֵינוּ וְעַל כָּל יִשרָאֵל. וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן: [קהל:אמן]
עושה שָׁלום בעשי”ת: הַשָּׁלום בִּמְרומָיו הוּא יַעֲשה שָׁלום עָלֵינוּ וְעַל כָּל יִשרָאֵל וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן: [קהל: אמן]


Exalted and hallowed be God’s great name
in the world which God created, according to plan.
May God’s majesty be revealed in the days of our lifetime
and the life of all Israel — speedily, imminently, to which we say: Amen.

Blessed be God’s great name to all eternity.

Blessed, praised, honored, exalted, extolled, glorified, adored, and lauded
be the name of the Holy Blessed One, beyond all earthly words and songs of blessing,
praise, and comfort. To which we say: Amen.

May there be abundant peace from heaven, and life, for us and all Israel.
To which we say: Amen.

May the One who creates harmony on high, bring peace to us and to all Israel.
To which we say: Amen.


Yitgadal v’yitkadash sh’mei raba. B’alma di v’ra chirutei, v’yamlich malchutei, b’chayeichon uv’yomeichon uv’chayei d’chol beit Yisrael,
baagala uviz’man kariv. V’im’ru: Amen.

Y’hei sh’mei raba m’varach l’alam ul’almei almaya.

Yitbarach v’yishtabach v’yitpaar v’yitromam v’yitnasei, v’yit’hadar v’yitaleh v’yit’halal sh’mei d’Kud’sha B’rich Hu, l’eila min kol birchata v’shirata, tushb’chata v’nechemata, daamiran b’alma. V’imru: Amen.
Y’hei sh’lama raba min sh’maya, v’chayim aleinu v’al kol Yisrael. V’imru: Amen.
Oseh shalom bimromav, Hu yaaseh shalom aleinu, v’al kol Yisrael. V’imru: Amen.

 Z”l stands for zikhrono/zikhronah livrakha, meaning “May his/her memory be a blessing” and zt”l stands for zekher tzadik livrakhah “May the memory of this righteous one be a blessing.” 

A”H is short for alav/aleha hashalom, which means “peace be upon him/her.”

So when you see a name followed by any of these acronyms, the implication is that the person mentioned is not alive.