Times of Mourning - Sources
Memorializing the Soul through Torah Study
"On a mystical level, there is a direct connection of Mishnah to the
departed soul. This is derived from the relationship in Hebrew of the
terms 'soul' (נשמה) and
'Mishnah' (משנה), which
utilize the same letters transposed. As such, Mishnah study brings about spiritual
elevation to the soul." (P'nei Boruch 39:13, note 25)
"Our Sages have said that Asher, son of the Patriarch Jacob, sits at the entrance to Gehinnom (Purgatory), and saves [from entering therein] anyone on whose behalf Mishnah is being studied. This is derived from the verse (Genesis 49:20) 'From Asher, his bread is fat.' The word 'is fat', (שמנה) in Hebrew has the same letters as both 'soul' (נשמה), and the word 'Mishnah' (משנה), when the letters are transposed. This alludes to the fact that Mishnah is the 'bread,' or sustenance, of the soul in the next world, and that Asher is the one who saves the departed soul from the torments of Purgatory in the merit of Mishnah study. In fact, Mishnah study has an even greater power to achieve rectification for the soul of the departed than one's leading the congregation in communal prayer on behalf of the departed soul."
"The study of the Six Orders of Mishnah on behalf of the deceased during
the first year after passing, can save the departed soul from (the punishment
of) reincarnation (gilgul)." (Reincarnation is a painful and
difficult ordeal for the soul.)
(L'Olam Hevei Ratz L'Mishnah: Introductory notes to some Mishnah editions)
"There is an opinion that one should study one chapter of Mishnah before
retiring [each night]. An allusion to this is the commonality of the Hebrew
letters of "Mishnah" (משנה) and "Neshomah" (נשמה) - soul, albeit in transposed
form, indicating that in the merit of Mishnah study, the soul ascends
[each night] on High."
"When parents are alive, a child can honor them physically, while after they have passed away, he gives them spiritual honor. After Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel zt"l passed away, he came to his son in a dream and said, 'Send me packages.' He was referring to 'packages' of Torah and good deeds, saying Kaddish, and learning Mishnayos."
(The Laws of Honoring and Revering Parents, Rabbi Yechiel Biberfeld, Project Derech Publications, page 52)
"A question was posed to the Chafetz Chayim by a family from Kletzk, who were debating whether or not they should incur the extra expense of burying a family member in Israel. The Chafetz Chayim responded that it would be of more benefit to the deceased to use the money to support Torah study, rather than to use it for burial in Israel." (Aleinu L'Shabaiach Vol. II, page 537)
"After death, the son says... Kaddish, and through this, he saves his
father from the judgment of Gehinnom (Purgatory)."
(Zohar Chadash, Acharei Mos)
"'At the moment when my son said Kaddish, they tore up my decree
of (bad) judgment entirely.' So said one particular deceased person
to Rabbi Zemira."
"The sages of the Midrash attach great significance to the daily recital
of Kaddish by the children of the dear departed. This recital of the
praises of G-d redeems their parents from the punishments of Gehinnom
(purgatory) and elevates them in Heaven."
(P'nei Boruch, 34:1)
"If the children are unable to recite Kaddish themselves, they can
arrange for a proxy to do so. This is a great comfort and merit for
the departed soul."
"Yizkor must be recited for a deceased parent. In addition, Yizkor may also
be recited for all deceased relatives and friends, if the person reciting
Yizkor has a deceased parent."
(Mourning and Remembrance, Rabbi Aaron Felder, CIS Publications, page 151)
"Great is charity, which removes one from the judgment of Gehinnom (Purgatory)...
The main point of the Remembrance of Souls is to give charity in the merit
of the departed. This is specifically true if it is a son donating charity
in the merit of his parents."
(Gesher HaChayim, 31:1)
"...From here we learn that donations that the living give in the
merit of the deceased, have a great benefit for the deceased. And
particularly (this is true) when the son donates in their merit."