In a message dated 98-09-06 16:41:33 EDT, BSHRINK@... writes:
<< Could someone help me with this dilemma? My aunt 's gravestone
has Sarah Ben Ha Levi,
==That would be Sarah son of the Levite. A misreading for Sarah Bat?
If not, perhaps the family name was Benhalevi or, in Germanic languages, Levinson rendered back into Hebrew.
If your aunt was your father's sister and she was the daughter of
a Levi,then, if they had the smae father, your father would have been
a Levi, not the son of a Levi. (a woman cannot formally be a Levi,
which goes by masculine descent)
<<and my father always told us he was a Levite...can we assume that my
father should have Bar Ha Levi on his stone?? >>
==I'm a Levite myself, and have never heard of this phrase--which,
I've learned here--by no means excludes its existence. Abraham the
Levite would be called Avraham ha-Levi on the tombstone. If the
family name was obviously that of a Levi (e.g. Levine, Levinsohn, Loewenson,) that tag is not required. It is customary to denote
the tombstone of a levi with a water pitcher, since his sole
remaining synagogal function is to wash the hands of the cohanim
before they recite the Threefold Blessing. With that, the addition
of ha-Levi might be considered un-necessarry.