When a loved one passes away, there are several things we can do to honor their memory. We can live our own lives in a manner in which they would approve, we can give tzedakah in their name, and we can remember them by attending not just the Yom Kippur Yizkor service, but by attending the festival Memorial Services as well. These services, which last but an hour, have much to teach us. We leave not only fulfilling the mitzvah of honoring those who have departed, but we leave feeling the power of prayer within ourselves.
Nearly four decades ago as a new member of Temple Isaiah, and having just lost my beloved father, I went to Rabbi Fuchs and asked if it would be possible to have more than one Yizkor Service per year at the synagogue. He said we could try and if we could get a minyan, the services would become a part of Temple Isaiah’s festival observances. People in the congregation gladly fulfilled another mitzvah, which is becoming part of a minyan and we have had these services ever since.
So, we can honor our departed loved ones, feel the power of prayer, and take part in a holiday minyan by attending these Yizkor services. To me, that’s a Jewish win/win situation.