Re: Tombstone translation #translation


Hi Mike -
I can't add anything to Binyamin's translation of Ephraim's stone, since the inscription in the photo is somewhat illegible.  To read the full text one must retake a picture after cleaning the stone and/or taking a picture at a different angle with better lighting.

However, I think I can solve the mystery of the date of death.

IMHO, Binyamin erred in reading the Hebrew date on the stone.  I think that the stone says he died on the 30th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat. 
The Hebrew inscription should be read as ל שבט (30 in Shevat), rather than כב שבט (22 Shevat).  You can see what looks like the 'upper tail' of the lamedh (ל).
The 30th of Shevat 5667 corresponds to February 14, 1907.  However, if we assume that this grave is located somewhere in the former Russian Empire (pre-WW1), then we must read the numerical date (31.1.1907, the zero having a diagonal line through it), as a Julian date rather than a Gregorian one as  Russia adopted the Gregorian calendar only in 1918.  A Julian 31.1.1907 corresponds to a Gregorian February 13, 1907, which means that Ephraim died after dark on the that date, which corresponds to the 30th of Shevat.

Steve Goldberg
Jerusalem, Israel

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