The term "Yahrtzeit" presumably comes from the German word Jahrzeit. ("Jahr" meaning "year" and "zeit" meaning "time".) Is there a hebrew word or phrase (or spelling) for the concept of a yahrtzeit?

(If there is one, it should be added to the yahrtzeit tag.)

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    I can't remember the exact word right now, but the shoresh is "Zecher", and no, not Yizkor. – avi Jan 25 '12 at 13:28
  • I think you're incorrect that English yahrzeit is from German. I think it's from Yiddish. The OED (online edition) agrees with me: "Etymology: Yiddish, < Middle High German jarzît anniversary, < Old High German jâr year (noun 1) + zît time." – msh210 Jan 25 '12 at 15:58
  • @msh210 - Where do you think Yiddish got it from? – Moshe Jan 25 '12 at 16:21
  • The OED says where Yiddish got it from: Middle High German. That's German's ancestor as well as Yiddish's, but isn't the same as what we now call "German". – msh210 Jan 25 '12 at 16:26
  • @msh210 I'm very much aware of what German is. I don't care about the OED. The word Jahr and Zeit haven't changed between those two evolutions of Hochdeutsch. Word usage and grammar have changed, but those words still exist. As far as this conversation goes, German refers to the several evolutions of Germanic languages represented by modern German. Don't get me started on Yiddish. Excuse me for saying this, but Yiddish is a "crowd sourced" language. If it's from Yiddish, it's really from German or wherever. What I like to call Hickdeutsch. – Moshe Jan 25 '12 at 16:44

I think in modern Hebrew it's אזכרה - Azkara.

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    this is what the Israeli's I know call it. – Menachem Jan 25 '12 at 14:37
  • Thats the word I was looking for! – avi Jan 25 '12 at 14:41

The Sefardim typically refer to this as הילולה. (Hee-loo-lah).


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  • Is it not spelled with an alef at the end, being an Aramaic noun? – msh210 Jan 25 '12 at 15:59
  • no (at least not in modern Hebrew). I will add a link to the Hebrew Wikipedia article on the word. – user1095 Jan 25 '12 at 17:19

I always thought of it as יום הזכרון

Kitzur Shulchan Oruch 128(6) translates someone who has a יאר צייט as a בעל יום זכרון So יום זכרון (without the ה) could have been a translation if not for אזכרה.

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    -1 יום הזכרון (without any qualifiers) refers to Israel's Memorial Day. – user1095 Jan 25 '12 at 17:45

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