There is no mention in Shas, of Ner Neshamah (Yahrzeit Licht).
The Mishna in Ms.Brachos (53a) that says not to use a Ner Shel
Meisim for Havdalah,refers to a candle used for the Levaya etc.
and not a Yahrzeit candle, which probably may be used for Havdalah.
The Gemoro in Kesubos (103a) Rebbie left a Tzavo’oh with his
sons to have a candle burning at the table, refers to
Shabbos candles and not Yahrzeit candles.
The first mention of Ner Neshama is probably the Kol Bo in
Hilchos Yom Kipurim. The Kol Bo writes to light a Ner
for deceased parents, on Erev Yom Kippur, so they will have
It is very likely, the parents have a Kapparah, because of the Klall
of ברא מזכה אבא , The Mitzvohs a child does benefits
the deceased parents.
The Tur writes (630) There is a special Inyan to have
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lots of candles in Shul on Yom Kippur.
In the olden days, the largest and one of the few
expenses a Shul had, was Ner Lamo’or. Bees wax was a very
expensive commodity .
It is possible, the Chachamim tried to entice the people
to donate Ner Lamo’or, so they attached the special
Segulah of Kappara for the Meisim, a Siman Tov for the
living and the Ner Hashem Nishmas Adam for a Yahrzeit.
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