Congregation Ohr Torah

Shul Yahrzeit Davening and Aliya Policy

As the Shul B'H has continued to grow and the demographics of its members have changed over the course of the years, there are, unfortunately, an increasing number of members who now have yahrzeits. While the Shul recognizes the importance that some members place on davening for the amud in observance of yahrtzeits, there are often conflicts with other yahrzeits, smachot or other events occurring in the Shul on any given week. In addition, it is often an imposition on the tzibbur for the same person to daven multiple tefilos on Shabbos and Yom Tov. A shul has the right and an obligation to balance all of these needs. Members are respectfully encouraged to keep in mind that it is a far greater honor to one’s departed family member to be 'mevater' or give up one’s right to daven for the amud than it is to cause dissension or strife (see Meseches Yoma 39a).
In order to properly address these conflicting interests and develop a fair procedure for determining who will daven for the amud, the Shul leadership together with Rabbi Luban and the Shul Board, have instituted the following new policies in June 2017:

  • Subject to availability, members who have yahrzeit for a parent are entitled to daven, for the amud, one tefilah on Shabbos or Yom Tov day (i.e. , Pesukei D’zimrah, Shacharis or Musaf) and receive an aliya (which can be maftir, if available). Members may also daven Kabbalas Shabbos/Maariv if available and at the discretion of the gabbaim. For this policy to be fair and objective, no exceptions will be made including if the yahrtzeit is 'bo bayom'.

  • Any other member requesting to daven in honor of the yahrzeit of a non-parent may be allowed to daven for the amud or receive an aliya based upon availability and at the discretion of the gabbaim.

  • Ba’alei simcha, when making a kiddush, are entitled to choose the ba’alei tefilah over Shabbos and a reasonable number of aliyos, but not necessarily all aliyos. Members with yahrzeits are entitled to receive an aliya on the same Shabbos that another member is making a simcha in the Shul, subject to availability. If the ba’al simcha would like to distribute more aliyos than are available due to the number of yahrzeits that week, it is incumbent upon the ba'al simcha to ask the member with the yahrzeit if he would be willing to daven at another minyan. Conflicts are expected to be resolved amicably between the members. This is the responsibility of the members and not the gabbaim.

As a general reminder, to allow the gabbaim sufficient time to adequately coordinate the ba'alei tefilah, anyone who wants to daven or receive a kibbud should email Michie Klerer ( at least one week in advance. Thank you for your cooperation.