IIRC, During a Judaic leap year, my father, a"h observed 2 Yahrtzeits for his father who died during Adar of a non-leap year. He lit the yahrtzeit candle and said Kaddish twice - once for the date in Adar 1 and again on the same date in Adar 2.

I'm not sure what the halacha or common minhag is.

The phrasing of Talmud Megilla 1:4 implies that Adar 1 and Adar 2 are identical except regarding Megillah reading and giving of alms to the poor.

To me, this implies that every yahrtzeit observed in Adar, regardless of whether the person died in a leap year or non-leap year, would be observed twice.

Is this what is done? Does the Mishnah imply that yahrtzeit observance should be included twice?


3 Answers 3


Well, according to this article, I am pretty much wrong. Excerpt:

The general rule is that the first Adar is the yahrzeit for one who dies in Adar of a non-leap year, and on that day all yahrzeit precedence belongs to the person observing the yahrzeit. However, Kaddish is said on that day in the second Adar as well, but there is no precedence over one who has an actual yahrzeit on that day.

Assuming that the plaques will be placed only once, based on the date of the yahrtzeit, we may have quite a crowded month, this time!

  • 5
    It's a dispute between the Shulchan Aruch and the Rama (siman 568, 7). The Rama thinks "סתם אדר" is actually Adar 1, not 2, while the Shulchan Aruch says the opposite. This is in turn based on the dispute between R' Meir and R' Yehuda in Nedarim 63a. So Sephardic people I think go by Shulchan Aruch on this, and Ashkenazi by the Mishnah Berurah. By the way the Mishna Berurah says one should try to fast on both because of this, based on the Gra.
    – Cauthon
    Feb 8, 2016 at 18:17
  • @Cauthon Ashkenazim need not go by the Mishna Berura. The Arukh haShulchan for instance strongly rejects that Gra and supports only fasting in Adar I. And the Gra does not say that you should fast on both because of the doubt, but because the two months are the same regarding Mizvot; he even rejects the entire connection to the Gemara in Nedarim.
    – Double AA
    Feb 8, 2016 at 18:32

My Rav said you keep both days, regardless of whether the person died in a leap year or non-leap year. He said all the halachos of Yartzeit apply to both.

  • 1
    This position was seemingly the innovation of the Gra (OC 568:7), though the Arukh haShulchan (:14) rejects it and it's not found in any classical writings.
    – Double AA
    Feb 9, 2016 at 17:23

The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, 221:3 addresses this question, writing:

אִם מֵת לוֹ מֵת בְשָׁנָה מְעֻבֶּרֶת בַּאֲדָר רִאשׁוֹן אוֹ בַּאֲדָר שֵׁנִי, אֲזַי בְּשָׁנָה פְשוּטָה מִתְעַנֶּה כֵּן בַּאֲדָר, וּבְשָׁנָה מְעֻבֶּרֶת מִתְעַנֶה בְּזֶה הָאֲדָר שֶׁמֵּת. אִם בָּרִאשׁוֹן, בָּרִאשׁוֹן. וְאִם בַּשֵּׁנִי, בַּשֵּׁנִי. וְאִם מֵת בְּשָׁנָה פְשׁוּטָה, אֲזַי בְּשָׁנָה מְעֻבֶּרֶת, יִתְעַנֶּה בַּאֲדָר רִאשׁוֹן, וְגַם בַּאֲדָר שֵׁנִי יֹאמַר קַדִּישׁ, אַךְ אַל יַסִּיג גְּבוּל אֲחֵרִים.

If death occurs during a leap year, either in the first or second month of Adar, then, in a regular year, the Yahrzeit fast is observed on that day of Adar. And in a leap year it should be observed in the month when the death occurred; if in the first Adar, it is observed in the first, and if in the second, it is observed in the second. 3 If he does not know which, he should fast on the second Adar. Sha’ar Hatziyun 568:38. If the death occurred in (Adar of) a regular year, then, during a leap year it is observed in the first Adar. 3 Maharik, Ramah etc., and this is the custom. If it is not too difficult, he should fast on both. If he vowed to fast on the Yahrzeit he must fast on both. See Mogen Avraham, Gra, Mishnah Berurah 568:42. In the second Adar, too, he should say Kaddish but he may not encroach upon the rights of others.

  • 1
    The 1st part seems to contradict the 2nd part, in the sense that the 2nd Adar is considered the "real Adar". This is what I infer from the idea that if one doesn't know, it says to observe during the 2nd. Based on that idea, if someone dies during a non-leap year, it seems that during a leap year, he should observe it in the 2nd Adar only, not the first.
    – DanF
    Jul 24, 2019 at 20:00

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