Prayer points for dating
(For example, “man’s days are like a shadow passing by” – Psalms 144:4; “God will redeem my soul from the depths” – Psalms , etc.) These verses are followed by the recitation of Psalm 91 (“Yosheiv Ba’seiser”), whose theme is that God is the refuge of mankind.
After these readings, we’re ready to begin the actual prayer of Yizkor.
This is not a mercenary attempt to extort funds from a captive audience; committing to give charity is an inherent part of the Yizkor experience.
A number of aspects of Yizkor are the subject of differences of opinion among the various authorities or matters of local custom.
For example, some have the practice not to recite Yizkor during the first year following a death while the emotional wounds are still quite fresh.
If one says the prayer by himself at home, he should nevertheless commit to donate to an appropriate charity in the deceased’s memory. It is said on Yom Kippur, the last day of Passover, the second day of Shavuot and on Shemini Atzeret (a separate holiday at the end of Sukkot).
(In Israel, where there is one day less of Yom Tov, Yizkor is recited on the seventh day of Passover and the only day of Shavuot; Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah are the same day in Israel.) The original practice was to recite Yizkor only on Yom Kippur.
Although the deceased can no longer perform mitzvot, they can benefit from prayers, acts of charity, and other good deeds that their survivors perform on their behalf.