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Usage of Zichrono Livracha

Dear Rabbi,

I’m curious about the usages of zichrono livracha. It is used after the names of the deceased, and I know what it means, but what I’m wondering about is this–for instance, I say it when mentioning the name of my father or mother (both gone 3 years–yes, i know there is a fem. form as well); but would it be normal also to use it when referring to my (also deceased) grandparents, aunts and uncles? And how about folks whom I never knew? Certainly there must be a limit–for instance, I have never heard anyone cite Hillel and then add z”l — that would seem very odd, right? I’m sure it’s minhag and not halacha, but I’m curious about the minhag–thanks!! Jonathan.

Answer:

There are no laws or even clear “customs” for usage of Zichrono Livracha.

It is generally used for with whom we have some closeness: Family members of course, but also acquaintances, people we knew, rabbis of recent generations, and so on.

Best wishes.

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