Why do we wait a year before beginning Yizkor?



  1. The custom is to wait until the year of mourning has passed before reciting Yizkor because the Rabbis teach that (as a rule) the maximum time that a soul can spend in Gehinom is twelve months. Only after that time is over – once the soul has gone through its judgment and punishment – does it become appropriate to commemorate the soul at Yizkor.

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