Honorifics for the dead in Judaism

Among the honorifics in Judaism, there are several traditional honorifics for the dead which are used when naming and speaking of the deceased. Different honorifics might be applied depending on the particular status of the deceased. These honorifics are frequently found on gravestones, on memorial walls inside the sanctuary of synagogues, in speeches, and in writing such as in obituaries.

In writing, it is most common to use the name followed by an abbreviation of an honorific either in Hebrew or English. For examples, see chart.

Comparison chart

The following chart shows different honorifics used, along with their abbreviation in Hebrew and English, their translation, the masculine and feminine forms, the type of person which the honorific is applied to, and examples.

English
abbreviation
Hebrew
abbreviation
Full phrase in Hebrew English translation When used Example
For a man For a woman
Z"L
ז״ל זיכרונו לברכה
zikhrono livrakha
זיכרונה לברכה
zikhronah livrakha
of blessed memory; or
may his/her memory be a blessing
non-rabbinical
figure
David Randomberg Z"L or David Randomberg ז״ל
A"H ע״ה עליו השלום
alav ha-shalom
עליה השלום
aleha ha-shalom
may peace be upon him/her Joshua Randomstein A"H or Joshua Randomstein ע״ה
ZT"L
or ZTz"L
זצ״ל זכר צדיק לברכה
zekher tzadik livrakha
may the memory of
the righteous be a blessing
a holy or a
righteous person
Rabbi Moshe Feinstein ZT"L or Rabbi Moshe Feinstein ZTz"L or Rabbi Moshe Feinstein זצ״ל
ZK"L זק״ל זכר קדוש לברכה
zekher kadosh livrakha
may the memory of
the holy be a blessing
righteous martyr
(including those murdered by enemies of the Jews)
Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Bloch ZK"L or Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Bloch זק״ל
n/a זצוקללה״ה זכר צדיק וקדוש לברכה
לחיי העולם הבא

zekher tzadik v'kadosh livrakha,
l'chayei ha'olam ha-ba
may the memory of
the righteous and
holy be a blessing
for the world to come
select group of
historical personages
Avraham Avinu (may the memory of the righteous and holy be a blessing for the world to come) or Avraham Avinu זצוקללה״ה
HY"D הי״ד השם ינקום דמו
Hashem yinkom damo
השם ינקום דמה
Hashem yinkom dama
May Hashem avenge his / her blood Martyred Jews or Jews killed by anti-Semites [[
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