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Citing Sefer Hasidim (450), HaRav Eliyahu Mansour explains that: [...] The soul of a deceased person experiences great pleasure when his or her loved ones come to pray at [his or her] gravesite. These prayers provide immense benefit for the soul in the next world, thus prompting them to pray to G-d on behalf of the living. Sefer Hasidim's Wikipedia ...


Qitzur Shulhhan Arukh, Yalqut Yosef (Orahh Hayim 619:18), citing Midrash Sifrei on Parashat Shoftim, states (my translation): יש נוהגים לומר אזכרה למתים, וקרוביהם נודרים לצדקה לעילוי נשמתם, כי אף המתים צריכים כפרה, וכמו שאמרו בספרי, כפר לעמך ישראל אלו החיים, אשר פדית אלו המתים, מלמד שאף המתים צריכים כפרה Some are accustomed to recite a memorial ...


I have no evidence to support this theory, but I believe that it is in order to ensure that the prayers are articulated carefully and correctly. Muttering ("watermelon, watermelon, watermelon,...") is discouraged.


Rabbi Dr. Immanual Shochat's introduction to his translation of Slichos (page xii) places the first text of Slichos to Rav Amram Gaon. Wikipedia contends that the slichos part is of later vintage, but brings no evidence for the assertion (that the entire thing is whole cloth of later vintage, rather than interpolation of later slichos into what Rav Amram ...

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