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Some people are particular in having a yahrtzeit meal on the anniversary of someone's passing. Does this custom have any documented source, significance, or reason?

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    Really? I've never heard of this custom. The traditional practice of all rishonim I know of who discuss yahrtzeits is to fast on a yahrtzeit, not eat a meal. Where have you seen this? – Double AA May 25 '20 at 14:17
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  • V interesting @GershonGold. Although the Pnei Baruch says that it is not generally the done thing - hebrewbooks.org/… – Dov May 25 '20 at 18:36
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    @DoubleAA if I'm not mistaken it was R' Yaakov Kaminetsky who said something to the effect of. "First the minhag was to fast. Then it was to fast if possible, and if not, to make a siyum. Then, to just make a siyum. Then finally it became -- just to bring food." (Some observed similarly that some communities used to have the leitmotif of "learn Torah"; then 1--2 generations later, "learn Torah, even if it means you're not working" ... and eventually it's become "just don't work", and Torah no longer has anything to do with it ....) – Shalom May 25 '20 at 23:16
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Some people bring small foods to shul on the day of the yahrtzeit for people to eat and make brachos for an Aliyah for the soul.

It could be that the reason for having a meal is for the same reason. You could also read this.

  • In my congregation the custom is to bring a bottle of schnapps to share on yahrtzeit. – Phil Freedenberg May 25 '20 at 22:57

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