JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: Translation of letters on a tombstone #general

Stan Goodman <SPAM_FOILER@...>

On Sat, 2 Dec 2006 16:11:37 UTC, (Annette Stolberg)


I'm not sure the following is an old burial tradition in Israel, but
a son and father are buried in the same grave. We have been able to
translate most of the Hebrew regarding the father, with the
exception of four letters - Nun, Lamed, Vet and Ayin, with two small
marks after the Vet. These letters precede the day of the month and
the year.
The "two small marks" are the way an acronym is indicated in Hebrew. The
combination NUN LAMED BET " 'AYIN means "Niftar leveit 'olamo", which is a
more florid was to say "died"; the following date is, of course, when he

Directly below the father's name, and indented, are the letters Zion
Vav Nun Zion , followed by habocher (the son) and the name of the
father. Nun, Lamed, Vet, Ayin, appear again, followed by
a numeral. The month is Heshvan, but it is preceded by Mem Resh. .
I assume that the four letters are ZAYIN VAV NUN ZAYIN, which is a surname,
"Zunz". "" does not mean "the son", but "the young man". It would be
so much easier to interpret this for you had you posted a picture of it on
ViewMate. As it is, I will leave it to others to speculate on why the
father's name comes after "", if indeed it does.

The name of the month is, in fact "Marh.eshvan"; this is a word that has
undergone some letter transpositions, which disguise its meaning as "Eighth
Month". "H.eshvan" is shortened, as often happens to long words and for the
same reasons. fits better on marquees.

Do the letters Nun, Lamed, Vet and Ayin represent a word, or are
they an acronym for an expression? Do Mem and Resh change the
meaning of the month of Heshvan?

Has anyone heard of the custom of burying a father and son in the
same grave site? I am not aware of this, if it was an old tradition
in the 1850's.
I have never heard of such a tradition, and doubt that there ever was one.
It would be reckless to speculate on what the stone actually says without
seeing it or a photograph of it.

Thank you,

Annette Stolberg
Rochester, NY
Stan Goodman, Qiryat Tiv'on, Israel

ISMACH: Lomza Gubernia, Galicia, and Ukraina
HERTANU, ABRAMOVICI, LAUER: Dorohoi District, Romania
GRISARU, VATARU: Iasi, Dorohoi, and Mileanca, Romania

See my interactive family tree (requires Java 1.1.6 or better). the URL is:

For reasons connected with anti-spam/junk security, the return address is
not valid. To communicate with me, please visit my website (see the URL
above -- no Java required for this purpose) and fill in the email form

Join to automatically receive all group messages.