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[Prayer] on the Anniversary of a Parent’s Death (יאָרצײַט‎), by Rabbi Moritz Mayer (1866)

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This day recalls to my mind the solemn and sorrowful day on which the soul of my beloved (father—mother) departed from its earthly tenement, on which the eye broke that once so lovingly and tenderly rested upon me, on which the hand was palsied in death that once so faithfully guided and supported me—a day of painful recollection, of ever renewed mourning! The ever honored picture of my dear parent appears before my soul, the breath of the sainted spirit is fanning upon me. How could the memory of the glorified being ever vanish from my heart and soul? As long as I shall walk upon this earth, this sacred memory shall be faithfully enshrined within the inmost recesses of my soul, until I also shall conclude my earthly career and meet again the loving and loved being whose loss I deeply mourn.

Father of life! I pray Thee to vouchsafe rest unto the soul of my sainted (father—mother.) May (his—her) spirit have found peace upon the heights of eternal light, pure, undimmed peace unto all eternity! May (his—her) soul be bound in the eternal bond of life. May it tarry before Thee in purity and salvation! And for me, (his—her) earthly child, who still walks in the shadows of this world, subject to changing fortune, to error and sin, may that sainted soul intercede before Thy throne, that I may be protected upon all my ways and deserve Thy grace. O Lord! Thou givest, Thou takest away, Thy name be praised for ever and ever. Amen.

“On the Anniversary of a Parent’s Death (Jahrzeit)” is one of thirty prayers appearing in Rabbi Moritz Mayer’s collection of tehinot, Hours of Devotion (1866), of uncertain provenance and which he may have written. –Aharon Varady

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