Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Originally, Yizkor was said on Yom Kippur and only later was it extended to Shelosh Regalim. Why was it not said on Rosh Hashanah which is Yom Hazikkoron? It would seem more appropriate to say it then rather than on Shelosh Regalim, as it is contrary to the spirit of 'veSomachta beChagecha'.

share|improve this question
I heard in a lecture yesterday by Rabbi Richard Sarason that what would become yizkor actually started at Shavuot (based on the date of a crusade-pogrom in the Rhineland) and then expanded to Yom Kippur, but it was a passing comment and I didn't ask for a source. (He didn't talk about the other occurrences.) – Monica Cellio Nov 6 '12 at 13:45
@MonicaCellio Are you referring to this: "Yizkor Memorial Prayer"? – Tamir Evan Nov 6 '12 at 14:17
@TamirEvan, thanks -- I hadn't seen that page, but it contains much of what I heard him say, plus the page has the all-important footnote. – Monica Cellio Nov 6 '12 at 18:41

Divrei Torah Volume 3 #61 mentions a reason that I have heard - which he says is inaccurate. The reason he mentions is that Yom Kippur is like the last day of Rosh HaShana and we always say it on the last days of the Yom Tov. He says that is not accurate as they are separate Yomim Tovim. He then says that on Rosh HaShana we are only supposed to think of live things כי בר״ה יחשבו רק מעניני חיים and through that we will be written to life.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.