JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen CORRECTION TO TOMBSTONE DECIPHERMENT! #general


Judith Romney Wegner
 

To Mark Michaels

About five seconds after sending my attempt at deciphering your tombstone
inscription, I suddenly realized that the letters you gave after Rachel's
name -- which you had rendered as "aleph-lamed -TET-nun-CHET" were
quite incorrect. Consequently they had bumsteered me completely, because
since they did not spell out a Hebrew word, they caused me to think this
must have been her father's surname (people do sometimes put surnames on
stones).

But literally five seco nds after hitting "Send", it suddenly dawned on me
that those letters were really aleph-lamed-MEM-nun-TAF (which spells the
Hebrew word almanat, which means "widow of"....)! Had you rendered the
letters correctly, of course, this error would never have occurred!

Hence Rachel's inscription reads "Rachel bat Yequtiel, widow of Hanokh ben
Yequtiel, who departed, etc."

It is still true that their fathers had the same first name, but it is now
clear that they were indeed a couple (and not a brother and sister as I
had somewhat jokingly speculated...) So, maybe their fathers became
friends because they had the same unusual first name, and later on their
kids grew up and married each other! (More idle speculation .....)

Sorry for that error, but you REALLY made life difficult by
misrepresenting those letters! The rest of the inscription stands as I
gave it.

Judith Romney Wegner
jrw@brown.edu

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