Use of "ben Avraham" on a headstone #general


Jeff Lieberman
 

If the family of a deceased (nonobservant) Jewish man doesn't know the name of his parents, how would his name be shown on his headstone? Would "ben Avraham" be used to signify that he was Jewish, e.g., Shalom ben Avraham?
 
Jeff Lieberman


Malka
 

Hello Jeff,

My sense is that it is inappropriate and I suggest the inclusion of some Hebrew writing and/or star of David to indicate that the deceased was Jewish.  Shalom, Malka Chosnek

 

 


Jeff Lieberman
 

Thanks. There is a Star of David on the grave marker. The question related to my grandfather since I recently found his birth record and it shows his father's name to be Meier. He came to the U.S. by himself, and I don't have any surviving relatives who might be able to explain the discrepancy.


Barbara Mannlein <bsmannlein@...>
 

Ben Avraham is used on tombstones when the father’s name is unknown, or when the deceased is a convert.  

   "Traditionally, adult Jews-by-Choice are called up to the Torah with their chosen Hebrew name followed by ben Avraham Avinu   (son of Abraham our father) or bat Sara Imeinu (daughter of Sara our mother.)  In most Reform and Conservative synagogues, however, the minhag (tradition) of using both the father’s and mother’s names means most choose to be called up as ben or bat Avraham v’Sara (son or daughter of Abraham and Sarah). 


On Jul 27, 2020, at 12:10 PM, Jeff Lieberman via groups.jewishgen.org <jhl1023=verizon.net@...> wrote:

Thanks. There is a Star of David on the grave marker. The question related to my grandfather since I recently found his birth record and it shows his father's name to be Meier. He came to the U.S. by himself, and I don't have any surviving relatives who might be able to explain the discrepancy.


Sherri Bobish
 


Jeff,

There are many possible explanations:

1.  The birth record or the tombstone are incorrect.
2.  Meier was his birth father, and Avraham was a step-father.
3.  The birth record you found was for someone else, i.e. a cousin of your grandfather who was born in the same town in the same year.

Do you have any other documents which may list his father's name, i.e. marriage record?

Regards,

Sherri Bobish
Princeton, NJ


David Ziants
 

Use of ben Avraham is generally for converts. I think that ben Yisrael ("son of Israel") would be more appropriate for the scenario you mention.

David Ziants

dziants@...


Paul Chirlin
 

Perhaps his father's formal Hebrew name was Abraham but he used Meier as his given name for example Abraham Meier Cohen.  As an aside I do not like the term "non-observant Jew" This man was religious enough that he has a Jewish grave.  Not being Orthodox or not being Kosher or not going to temple does not make one non-observant.   Rant over. 
Paul


Jeff Lieberman
 

Thanks, Sherri. I've been able to confirm that I have the correct birth record. I know he didn't have a good childhood, and he didn't like to talk about his birth family, so it's possible that my family never knew his father's name. (His mother died a few days after he was born from a postpartum infection, his father remarried, and, apparently, he felt rejected by his father & stepmother after they had a son of their own.) His marriage application only adds to the confusion since he listed his parents as Harry & Pearl, which wasn't true. Given the circumstances, it's possible that he avoided any mention of his parents or their actual names.


Sarah L Meyer
 

It is not considered appropriate to call attention to the conversion status of a Jew by using the Avinu (or Imeinu).  At this point in time, he/she is a Jew and the status should not be questioned.  He or she should just be ben/bat Avraham (and in/or v'Sarah if a mother's name is included).  My husband's shem kodesh is Yaakov ben Avraham.  One is not supposed to be able to tell whether it is Avraham Avinu or Avraham is/was his  biological  father's name.  BTW we have been married for over 50 years, and this has been his Hebrew name since we met.   
--
Sarah L Meyer
Georgetown TX
ANK(I)ER, BIGOS, KARMELEK, PERLSTADT, STOKFISZ, SZPIL(T)BAUM, Poland
BIRGARDOVSKY, EDELBERG, HITE (CHAIT), PERCHIK Russia (southern Ukraine) and some Latvia or Lithuania
https://www.sarahsgenies.com