Soc.Culture.Jewish Newsgroups
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

[SCJ FAQ Logo]
< Q5.11 TOC Sect. 6 >

Question 5.12:
How are Yahrzeits observed in Leap Years?


The real question is how one observes Yahrzeits that occur in the Jewish month of Adar: are they observed in Adar I or Adar II? Many issues in halachah are subject to debate, and this is one of them. The Sepharadic ruling (followed also by some Chassidic groups) is to observe in Adar II. Once Purim is on Adar II (to make a "redemption season" of Purim and Passover), the "real Adar" is the 2nd Adar.

The Ashkenazic ruling is based on the notion that one ought not pass up an opportunity to do a mitzvah. Therefore, the earliest possible definition of yahrzeit, Adar I, is used. There is a custom to say kaddish on both days. However, in terms of being the chazan, the other yahrzeit date gives no priority over someone whose parent actually died in a leap year and has an exact yahrzeit.

The FAQ is a collection of documents that is an attempt to answer questions that are continually asked on the soc.culture.jewish family of newsgroups. It was written by cooperating laypeople from the various Judaic movements. You should not make any assumption as to accuracy and/or authoritativeness of the answers provided herein. In all cases, it is always best to consult a competent authority--your local rabbi is a good place to start.

[Got Questions?]Hopefully, the FAQ will provide the answer to your questions. If it doesn't, please drop Email to The FAQ maintainer will endeavor to direct your query to an appropriate individual that can answer it. If you would like to be part of the group to which the maintainer directs questions, please drop a note to the FAQ maintainer at

[Prev ?]
[Sect Index]
[Next Sect]
[Prev Sect]
[Global Index]
[Next Sect]
  [Reading Lists]  

© (c) 1993-2001 Daniel P. Faigin <>