JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: Translation from Hebrew - two tombstones #general

Judith Romney Wegner

At 8:53 PM +0200 8/26/06, Klausner wrote (in answer to my question):
Can anyone shed light on why a family might> actually describe a
deceased member as ishah
kesherah? Is it a technical term of some kind?
Yocheved replied

** Please have a look at JOWBR inscriptions and translations: tens
of matzevot read Isha Kshera, along with other attributes, as Isha
Hashuva, Isha Kvuda etc. We usually translate Isha Kshera = a decent
woman, just as Isha Hashuva is translated: an esteemed woman (not
an important woman).
Dear Yocheved,

Many thanks for verifying that kesherah is an adjective quite
commonly used to describe a deceased woman. Thanks also to Mathilde
Tagger for the information she supplied.

Since the word kasher literally means "fitting" or "suitable," does
it use imply specifically that the departed woman had conducted
herself "in a fitting/ seemly manner"?

Also, do we find the adjective kasher used with equal frequency to
described a deceased man? If the answer is yes -- end of story.
But if the answer turns out to be no, I would wonder about the
sociological significance of gender distinctions in adjectives used
on tombstones to describe the departed. If it was especially
praiseworthy for a woman (as opposed to a man) to conduct herself in
a "fitting" or "seemly" manner, would this imply that she behaved
modestly or unobtrusively -- in other words, that she "kept her
place" in traditional Jewish culture?

I went to the JOWBR site as advised , but --probably due to my being
electronically challenged -- I could not figure out how to locate
lists of adjectives used on stones. Perhaps Yocheved or Mathilde
could tell us whether the adjectives found on men's stones are
similar to or different >from the those found for women I would
particularly like to know whether men are described as " ish kasher"
as often as is the case for women.

Judith Romney Wegner

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