What is the source for lighting a candle on the anniversary of someone's death (yartzeit candle)? What are the sources for lighting such a candle on other days such as Yom Kippur, Yom Tov etc?


1 Answer 1


The reason for the yahrtzeit candle comes from the metaphor in

Proverbs 20:27:

נֵ֣ר יְ֭הוָה נִשְׁמַ֣ת אָדָ֑ם חֹ֝פֵ֗שׂ כָּל־חַדְרֵי־בָֽטֶן׃

The spirit of man is the lamp of the LORD, Searching all the inward parts.

  • 2
    Can you source this claim?
    – Double AA
    Mar 17, 2015 at 15:38
  • @DoubleAA - I believe that I have seen this in SA, but I have to locate it and edit later
    – DanF
    Mar 17, 2015 at 15:40
  • Also Hlhow that verse is connected to the yearly marking of passing, and the holidays.
    – user6591
    Jul 15, 2015 at 18:14
  • This is not found in Shulchan Aruch however it's mentioned by later achronim. It has no "real" makor and the custom is highly suspect....
    – Yehoshua
    Mar 27, 2016 at 17:43

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