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New article - Deciphering Jewish Gravestones


Philip Trauring
 

I'd like to let everyone know about a new article I published today, titled Deciphering Jewish Gravestones:

https://bloodandfrogs.com/2020/03/deciphering-jewish-gravestones.html

The article is a step-by-step guide to understanding the Hebrew inscriptions on Jewish gravestones. There is a downloadable PDF version of the article available as well, which is 32 pages.

I hope people find it useful. If you do, please share it.

Thank you,

Philip Trauring


fredelfruhman
 

WOW!

As someone who has been helping read gravestones on ViewMate, I am blown away by the details and the amount of information that you have included.  I learned one or two new things myself, and plan to save the PDF for future use.  (Had I known about your wonderful work, I could have saved myself some time and frustration with some of the rarer abbreviations, most of which I worked out in the end, but not without some sweat and tears.)

There is one aspect of reading the year of death which might be helpful to include, when you have a chance.  (Perhaps it is there, but I missed it?).  Hebrew years are often -- as least on older stones -- followed by a 3-letter abbreviation, lamed-fay-kuf, which stands for the words "lifrat katan", according to the small details.  You explain very well that the leading '5' is usually omitted (in rare cases represented by a leading "Hey").  The words "lifrat katan" are saying the same thing:  this is the "small count", with the big number missing but understood.  By the way, those three letters are sometimes combined into a one-character glyph;  I'll be glad to send you an image, if you wish.  I hope that you do not mind my mentioning this.  Your work is so complete, and this abbreviation/image threw me when I first encountered it, and I've been asked about it by others.

Thank you again for providing this excellent document.

--
Fredel Fruhman


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Fredel Fruhman
Brooklyn, New York, USA