Polish matzevah #photographs

Yale Reisner


These are absolutely classic gravestone markings.  The letters פ״נ are an abbreviation for פה נקבר - here is buried.    The Star of David is a common symbol of a Jew and particularly a Jewish man.  The candelabrum is a standard symbol for a Jewish woman.  A book on a man’s grave usually symbolizes scholarship; on a woman’s grave, it represents a prayer book and symbolizes piety. 

Yale J. Reisner
Warsaw, Poland
JGFF #913980


This hasn’t yet been mentioned:  The central symbol for the woman is the candelabrum, representing the lighting of Shabbat candles, traditionally done by the wife. 

the book motif is a common one, representing scholarship. Whether either or both were scholars is unknown. But we are the “people of the book,” after all. 
David Dubin
Teaneck, NJ


Why don't you post pictures of the entire gravestones, so we may see the context?
If I had to guess, I would say these are the graves of holy books (siddurim, chumashim, etc.).
Steve Goldberg
Jerusalem, Israel
Sagan/Shagan family from Veliuona (Velon), Lithuania
Goldberg family from Vidukle, Lithuania
Susselovitch/Zuselovitch family from Raseiniai (Rassein), Lithuania

Mike Coleman

Attached are photos of the tops of two painted wooden matzevah from Poland.
The first is from a man's, the second from his wife's.
Could anyone kindly explain the significance of the markings?

Many thanks,
Mike Coleman   London  U.K.