Gravestone (matzeva) Inscriptions seeking opinions/advice……………….

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  • #1391441

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    Mrs. CTL’s mother was niftara on Rosh HaShanah
    Mrs. CTL wants to have the stone engraved ASAP (now that shloshim has passed).

    We have 2 questions and seek your comments/advice (this is not a question to be referred to LOR)

    MIL was born in USA as were her parents. She was always known by an English name, only time her Jewish name was used was on documents such as Ketubah.
    When asking Mrs. CTL her mother’s Hebrew name, she replied with a Yiddish name (interesting as Mrs. CTL speaks no Yiddish, nor did her mother).

    SO, question #1 would you inscribe the stone with a Hebrew Name such as Sarah Rivkah or a Yiddish name such as Sorel Rivil? There is no one left alive in the family who would know the names except Mrs. CTL.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Question #2
    MIL was married twice (widowed twice) and spent the same amount of years with each husband. She was buried next to husband #2 by her instructions.
    Both existing stones are doubles and have space for inscribing MIL’s info.
    Cost is not a factor
    Is it gauche to inscribe both stones, or should only the stone adjacent to her plot be inscribed?

    LOR, says it’s up to the family.

    #1391455

    nishtdayngesheft
    Participant

    To number 1, often headstones are used as part of research for families. Such as determining if someone is a Cohen or Levi.

    Accordingly, in my humble opinion, I would think the appropriate inscription should be what your late Mother-in-Law’s actual name was.

    As far as query 2, I personally do not appreciate double headstone, certainly not ones erected while one of the people were alive, so I will recuse myself from responding.

    #1391457

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    Reg Question 1
    I would put the Hebrew name (As on the Ketuba)

    Particularly with your example “Sarah Rivkah vs Sorel Rivil” where it isnt really a “yiddish name” but rather a dimunitive name. much like Somone known all her life as “Leahleh” would likely have “Leah” on the tombstone. Leahleh much like Sorel, Rivil arent realy Yiddish names

    If it is a translation eg Tziporah and she was known as Faige/faigy all her life. Then I would probably write both “Tziporah Faygel”

    #1391458

    Joseph
    Participant

    Don’t rely on me, but my thinking is that something like Sorel Rivil is merely a nickname of Sarah Rivkah, and not the actual name. Much like Yankel is a nickname for Yaakov, but he’d still get called to the Torah as Yaakov not Yankel.

    I think it would be unusual and confusing to put her name on husband #1’s matzeiva if she isn’t buried there.

    #1391465

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    Please, Please use her proper Hebrew name!
    Obviously just stating my opinion but I have to tell you that we had a couple situations where we needed to use headstones to determine names and parents names and nobody around knew enough to know Yankele was a nickname for Yaakov. My moms brother was Marv – his “jewish” name was Yosha Maisha. His children didn’t know that Yosha Maisha was a Yiddish pronunciation of his given name, Yosef Moshe and put the Yiddish/nickname on his stone. Some of these relatives have used these nicknames for their children thinking they are proper names.
    It is one thing to put a Yiddish name if that is the given name, but a nickname or Yiddish pronounciation should go in quotes.
    We also had trouble finding my mothers father’s name for her own matzeiva because his stone had been made with the same process.

    #1391466

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    wow. took me so long to type that everyone said what I was gonna say
    🙂

    #1391473

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @joseph
    “I think it would be unusual and confusing to put her name on husband #1’s matzeiva if she isn’t buried there.”
    I pondered this and discussed this with the shul Rav
    His take was that because she was the widow of Husband #1 (Mrs. CTL and her siblings father) it would honor their marriage. If she had been divorced from Husband #1, Rav for forbid it.

    There are 3 other stones in the shul cemetery (that I know of) where there is no one buried adjacent to match the description. The stone is a memorial marker in that case.

    #1391475

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    First..I wish tMrs. CTL (and the rest of the CTL Mishpacha) a “nechomah” upon the petirah of her mother. May she know of no more “tzahr” only smachot.

    Second: To question #2…IMHO, since the nifteres chose the place for her burial, it would seem that she may not have wanted the other stone inscribed. As to question #1, if one of your children or grandchildren would want to name their child after her, would they use the Hebrew name or the Yiddish name? If the answer is the Hebrew name, then I would suggest putting the Hebrew name on the matzeivah.

    #1391480

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @Nishtdayn………

    I tend to agree about double headstones erected while one spouse is still living.
    I asked my MIL about this and she told me that when she erected the stone for Husband #1 the cost was $2500 for a single headstone and $2700 for a double, so it made sense to buy the double.

    My paternal family has 2 family association cemeteries. We don’t erect headstones for individuals, instead there is a large stone for the family plot with the family name at top, and married last names below. Each individual has a foot-stone with their individual information.

    My parents are buried in a family cemetery on my mother’s side. They only have flat in ground individual bronze foot markers. This eliminates the vandalism of overturned stones and makes mowing the grass easier.

    #1391485

    Joseph
    Participant

    “May she know of no more “tzahr” only smachot.”

    Pardon my brief interlude, but this quite common saying after a petira is a bit confusing. Does this bracha mean that a person should never again have family members pass away?

    #1391486

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    I’m sorry to hear about Mrs. CTL’s loss.

    המקום ינחם אותה בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים

    #1391492

    Joseph
    Participant

    “there is a large stone for the family plot with the family name at top, and married last names below.”

    How is the “family name” different than the “married last name”?

    Wouldn’t wives be buried with their husbands in their husband’s family cemetery/family area? So you’d have your male family members and their wives buried in your family area whereas your female family members would be buried with their husband in his family area.

    #1391495

    Joseph
    Participant

    This discussion brings up another interesting question. Who will mother in law’s husband be after techiyas hameisim?

    Also, is there a common Jewish or halachic standard as to which husband to bury a twice-widowed wife next to?

    As far as a twice-widower gentleman, it would seem he could be buried next to both his wives who predeceased him.

    #1391503

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    I’m so sorry CTLAWYER for you and MRS. CTLAWYER’s loss… Thank you for asking for our humble opinions on this majorly important matter.

    Here are my thoughts:

    Answer #1: Yiddish name; it’s personal to your wife’s mom. Using her Yiddish name, the name that comes to mind and heart when your wife thinks of the name that speaks of her mom’s neshama, honors their maternal bond. It’s authentic.

    Answer #2: One-hundred percent, inscribe both stones, but personalize the one near husband #1 in a way that both respects their marriage together, all the while making it clear that she had since moved on to another marriage, and thus isn’t buried beside husband #1.

    B’Hatzlacha, and may whatever you choose to do be good and bring good, enhancing your mother-in-law’s memory as a blessing in this world and the world to come.

    #1391504

    golfer
    Participant

    I’m so sorry to hear about your loss, Mr & Mrs CTL.

    Is it possible there is still a copy of a kesubah?
    I would use the name that’s on the kesubah.
    In the absence of a kesubah, is there anyone who can remember one of the husbands of the nifteres giving her name for a mi shebeirach in shul?

    #1391506

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    Joseph

    “Does this bracha mean that a person should never again have family members pass away?”

    Possibly, as the Navi says בִּלַּ֤ע הַמָּ֙וֶת֙ לָנֶ֔צַח וּמָחָ֨ה ד’ ה’ דִּמְעָ֖ה מֵעַ֣ל כָּל־פָּנִ֑ים (Yeshaya 25:8)

    #1391516

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    Many people, besides saying “Hamakom Yenacheim” add on in yiddish “zahl du mehr nisht vissin fuhn kein tzahr, nar fuhn simchos”. Loosely translated, “you should know not further know from any “pain”, only from happy occasions” (as taught to me by my grandparents). Since Mrs. CTL does not know yiddish and it is more than 30 days after the petirah so “Hamakom Yenacheim” is not said, I gave her the yiddish saying. My aunt always tells me that “simchos” should be “smachot”.

    #1391519

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @joseph
    Approximately 100 years ago a family foundation was incorporated in the State of NY for the purpose of buying a cemetery. It was named for my great-great grandfather on my father’s mother side.
    My Great Grandfather bought a large family plot in the cemetery (approx 400 graves) for his descendants. He had 4 daughters and no sons. When his wife died he erected the large Family Plot Stone with his last name inscribed in the center near the top.
    When each daughter married, her husband’s last name was inscribed on the next horizontal row.
    The same system occurred in my parents’ and my generation. Most men who married into the family know that their wives wanted to be buried in the family cemetery and they are also buried there. My parents made a decision when they moved to CT that they would be buried here, not back in NY. Half my siblings have decided we want to be buried in the family plot in NY, half elsewhere. The idea of being buried with the husband’s family did not come into play.

    Example of Family Plot Stone (made up names)

    WEISSMAN
    SCHWARTZMAN———GOLDMAN——————————BROWN—————–SILVERMAN
    COHEN——LEVY———–ISRAEL—————-GOLD———–BLACK—————WHITE———————-GRAY

    Here in CT, Jews are generally buried in cemeteries that belong to a synagogue, not association plots in supersized Jewish cemeteries as in NY or NJ and not in any for profit, privately owned cemeteries

    #1391523

    Joseph
    Participant

    “My aunt always tells me that “simchos” should be “smachot”.”

    Your aunt is Sephardic?

    #1391527

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @golfer………..
    Therein lies the rub

    The first Ketubah was written while MIL’s parents were alive and has her Yiddish name. I assume her father told the Rabbi what to write. The second Ketubah (written after her parents were no longer alive) has the Hebrew name.

    As this is a no win situation, I’ll let Mrs. CTL decide, but she asked that I get some opinions

    #1391542

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    joseph: no, she is ashkenazic who taught in an ivrit speaking preschool program.

    You asked: Also, is there a common Jewish or halachic standard as to which husband to bury a twice-widowed wife next to?

    If she only had children with one of the two husbands then common practice is to bury next to the husband she had children with. I do not know what the practice is if she had children from both.

    #1391566

    Joseph
    Participant

    CTL, when your wife was ill and people were saying Tehilim for her, what name was used for your wife in the tefilos — wife bas Sarah Rivkah or wife bas Sorel Rivil?

    #1391569

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    As I recall, the former.

    #1391830

    🐵 ⌨ Gamanit
    Participant

    I would say the kesuba written when her parents were still alive is probably more accurate.

    #1392126

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @joseph
    @DaasYochid
    When Mrs. CTL was so ill last year and Tehillim were being said I posted and used the Hebrew name.
    WHY? Because I read it on the framed Ketubah that was hanging on the wall in my MIL’s den. That was from the second marriage.
    This morning, I had a late appointment in New Haven, where MIl was from and I went to her parents’ and brother’s graves. All three had Yiddish names inscribed, not Hebrew.

    So, Mrs. CTL and I discussed this at supper tonight and we’ll continue her family tradition and use the Yiddish name on the stone.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    That still leaves the unanswered question of inscribing the stone where the first husband (Mrs. CTL’s father) is buried.

    I had a long talk with my BIL, who retired as a shul Rav after 40 years,
    He had an interesting take on the situation.
    He explained to me a similar occurrence in his shul that took place about 25 years ago. The female was buried with the second husband and the children also inscribed the firs husband’s stone, There were nieces and nephews on the first husband’s side who would come to pay respects to deceased husband #1 when visiting their parents and grandparents in the family plot. They would have no reason to travel to another cemetery to pay respects to their late uncle’s now deceased wife buried with husband #2. They would however make a Molei for her when reading the inscription on their uncle’s double stone.

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