Re: Information on tombstones #belarus

Stan Goodman <geneal@...>

The deceased men were Kohanim. This is the meaning of the hands, held in
the manner in which Kohanim bless the congregation at particular points in

The letters at the bottom are initials for a common formula meaning: "May
their souls be bound up with those of the living". The simplest explanation
of this expression is the hope that their memory will persist in the minds
of their descendants. Others will give you more mystic explanations, so I
must justify my own, as follows.

The word usually translated as "soul" is "nefesh". It's real meaning in
Hebrew is simply "self", and so it is is Arabic as well ("nafs"); the
mystic idea of "soul" is a Christian (probably pre-Christian European) one.

On Thu, 1 Jan 1970 01:59:59, Susan.Chernin@... (Susan Chernin) wrote:

My cousin Rachel and I took advantage of a long visit over the Passover
holidays to visit various cemeteries in the Philadelphia Area. We have
the following questions

Several of the men in our family as well as other male graves had two
hands engraved on them, sometimes palms up and sometimes down with the
fingers grouped in two distinct groups. Can anyone tell us what this
Several male tomb stones had five distinct Hebrew letters at the bottom.
The letters were the same in each case. Does any one know what this
We lso saws this on the stones of men who were nol in our family

thank you
Stan Goodman, Qiryat Tiv'on, Israel

ISMACH: >from Lomza Gubernia, Galicia, and Ukraina
HERTANU, ABRAMOVICI, LAUER: >from Dorohoi District, Romania
GRISARU, VATARU: >from Iasi, Romania
See my interactive family tree (requires Java 1.1.6 or better):

PLEASE NOTE: Messages to the "From:" or "Reply to:" address of this posting
will be not reach me. Please remove the "NOSPAM". Messages containing
HTML-formatted text will be deleted automatically, unread; if you want to
write to me, send plain text only.

Join to automatically receive all group messages.