Schelly Dardashti <dardasht@...>
What appears on a gravestone is what the family has commissioned. The
style of the letters, a personal message, whether it is in Hebrew,
English, Russian, Farsi etc, the design elements (such as pitcher for
Levi) or even a picture of the deceased -- all of this is what the family
has decided to order >from the stonemason and has decided to pay for. It is
a personal, family decision. Any visitor to a Jewish cemetery will find a
remarkable assortment of memorials and items included and how they are
presented, the actual stone, its color, its size.
However, there is a trend in "modern" park-like cemeteries in the US (and
perhaps in other countries) to only allow smallish ground-level plaques,
all of a similar design/shape, etc. which will contribute to the park
grounds atmosphere. In this case, certain limitations/restrictions might
In Israel, varieties in memorial stones also abound. On a recent visit I
saw the stones for a mother and father (both recently deceased but in
different plots in the cemetery), both ordered by their children, who
are native speakers of both Hebrew and English. While the shape, color and
size of the stones themselves were nearly identical, the inscriptions were
very different, complete with different English spellings of the same
names. Whether this was a mistake by the stonemason or in the order given,
I don't know.
Schelly Talalay Dardashti
...the Levite (or Cohen) status on many of the gravestones in their
cemeteries (does this happen in Conservative ones too?) is not included.