yahrzeit

Alternative Spellings

yahrtzeit, yortzait, yortseit, yortsayt, yortzayt, yartzeit, yortsayt, yahrtzeit, jahrzeit

Definitions

  • The anniversary of a person's death, generally marked by relatives in some way.

Example Sentences

  • "On my mother's yartzeit we light a candle to remember her."

Languages of Origin

Yiddish

Etymology

יאָרצײַט yortsayt 'lit. time of year; anniversary of a death' (Yiddish: yor = year; tsayt = time). The spelling in English is influenced by German orthographic norms.

Who Uses This

Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education

Regions

North America

Dictionaries

The New Joys of Yiddish, by Leo Rosten and Lawrence Bush (New York, 2003[1968]).
The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).
Dictionary of Jewish Usage: A Popular Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).

Notes

also used in the phrase "yahrzeit candle"

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