Topics

tombstone inscription #poland #galicia #rabbinic


Tzvi Schnee
 

Shalom.
I am making an attempt to determine a few specifics on the tombstone of Azriel, one of my great grandfather's brothers from the Bolechov cemetery. Primarily, the honorific used before his father's name is v'harabeinu, as in "v'harabeinu minh Yaakov." I am almost certain that this is more than an honorific; and, that in all likelihood, the word, "rabeinu" on the tombstone indicates that my great great grandfather Yaakov Schnee was a rabbi. Any confirmation by someone who is familiar with tombstone inscriptions would be very helpful. I have attached two documents, one of the text of the inscription, the other is a photograph of the tombstone.

Additionally, the word directly preceding his son's name (Azriel), whose tombstone this is, having died in his early twenties, is hei-aleph-veis-resh-final kof. I.e., ha'avrech (?) min Azriel. I thought that this might indicate that he himself was a father; because, I know that he did have an infant son at the time he passed away. A clarification on this would also be helpful.

I would further appreciate any detailed information that could be given to me, regarding the word "rabeinu;" I am particularly interested in knowing whether the phrase "harabeinu minh Yaakov" might indicate whether or not he was a rabbi with a congregation. I know that he was chassidic, because I have testimony that he wore peyos (side curls). 

Thank you very much for any information that can be provided to shed light on these questions of mine.
Shalom. - Tzvi Fievel Schnee


David Shapiro
 

You are misreading the inscription. Not 'harabeinu' but 'harabani' meaning rabbi-like. i.e a person well learned in religious text, but not an official rabbi. Not 'minh' but 'mo[reinu]' which is indeed an honorific. 'Avrech' is taken from Gen. 41, 43, that Josef was referred to by that term, and Rashi quotes a medrash which explains that it means like a father (av) in wisdom but tender (rech) in year, i.e. a young scholar. There also not 'min' but the honorific 'mo[reinu]'.

David Shapiro
Jerusalem


fredelfruhman
 

The mem-vav after the word Avrech (which means a young married man), which does likely represent the word "Moreinu", would be either an honorific, or would indicate that he was a teacher.

Although the "Rabbani" before his father's name does mean a "learned scholar", there is an additional abbreviation here:  mem-vav-hey.  This stands for "Moreina haRav", and translates to "our teacher, the rabbi".

Thus, his father was definitely a rabbi.
--
Fredel Fruhman
Brooklyn, New York, USA


annearmel@...
 

My son who lives in Israel is a Talmudic scholar and is fluent in
Hebrew. He transcribed your headstone --see attached PDF. He
said it was an interesting description. Scroll down the attachment for
his footnotes on the translation.  Hope it helps you out. (I've never
responded to one of the JewishGen posts, so I hope I did it right.)
Anne


Tzvi Schnee
 

Shalom.
Baruch H'Shem. Thank you very much.
Please, also thank your son for me.
Shalom, Tzvi Fievel


Tzvi Schnee
 

Shalom.
Here is a link to the original photograph of the tombstone.
Although, I do not know if the image is actually any clearer.

http://jgaliciabukovina.net/node/157987#comment-0

Thank you very much.
Shalom, Tzvi Fievel


David Shapiro
 

The title "Rabbani" is never used for anyone who has an official rabbinic position. (It is possible that 'mem-vav-hey' indicates that he had semicha, but that that he had a official position). I say this from over 40 years of experience editing rabbinical documents. Titles and their significance varies from one community to another. The best way to determine whether a title is just a honorific in a given community is to look at other stones in the same cemetery. If many stones use the same title (and not just in the same section, which may be reserved for rabbis), then you can assume it is just an honorific.

David Shapiro
Jerusalem


Tzvi Schnee
 

Shalom.
Thank you very much.
Seeking clarification: you wrote, "It is possible that 'mem-vav-hey' indicates that he had semicha, but that that he had a official position." Did you mean to write, "but not that he had an official position?" In other words, that mem-vav-hey could indicate semicha, yet, not an official position as a rabbi?
Thank you very much.
Shalom. - Tzvi Fievel


David Shapiro
 

Yes. I meant "not that he had an official position". Sorry for the typo, I haven't been well.
David Shapiro


fredelfruhman
 

I apologize for not having been more specific:  "Moreinu haRav" does not necessarily mean that someone was the rabbi of a community or had a pulpit.  Many men are ordained rabbis (have obtained "Semichah") but do not have occupations in the rabbinate.
--
Fredel Fruhman
Brooklyn, New York, USA