JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: more on broken monuments #general

Mathilde Tagger <tagger@...>

Hi Anita,

You wrote:
If Jews ever thought that this was a "Christian symbol" that might explain
why in some London Jewish cemeteries, instead of a broken branch, one sees
a broken column (as in an architectural style column).
I do not think that broken column is a Christian symbol. At least during the
18th-19th century, Italian Jews used broken marble columns as tombstone, on
which was engraved the Hebrew inscriptions. This was a cheap material. It is
very possible that broken columns found in London and later on in US has
been influenced by Italy.
The most usual symbol found on graves to express a premature death is a cut
tree trunk.
A very good example is the monument erected in memory of President Kennedy
in the Jerusalem Hills- a cut tree trunk!
But of course, one can find cut columns. As far as I know, cut branches is a
rare ornament on a tombstone and I am not speaking of two branches framing a
picture or initials or anything else.

By the way, someone earlier spoke of the use of branches put on a grave
instead of stones. A guess: may be this custom is based on the fact that in
certain rainy/green countries, it is easier to find a branch than a stone.

Mathilde Tagger

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