Saturday, May 9, 2015

ROW 39, GRAVE 7: Group Six (Moshe Dov, son of Zvi Arie)


In 2013 I discovered the base was painted in blue.


Given name

Date of death
on gravestone
Evening of the month Nisan 5645
ערב ראש חודש ניסן תרמ"ה
Date of death
March 16th 1885

Hebrew name
Moshe Dov
משה דוב
Father’s name
Zvi Arie z”l
צבי ארי' ז"ל

Snake on a rod/staff
נחש על מקל
“Moshe was a doctor”
Group Six: Difficult to Identify
Group Four: Died before Sept 1914
"משה איש רופא"

The first time I saw this gravestone, it brought me straight back to Ancient Egypt and Moses.

And the LORD spoke unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying:
When Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying: Show a wonder for you; then thou shalt say unto Aaron: Take thy rod, and cast it down before Pharaoh, that it become a serpent.'
And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so, as the LORD had commanded; and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh and before his servants, and it became a serpent.
Then Pharaoh also called for the wise men and the sorcerers; and they also, the magicians of Egypt, did in like manner with their secret arts.
For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents; but Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods.
And Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had spoken. 

Here, in Lubaczow, another Moses had gotten that symbol on his grave, several thousand years later.But it also was connected to the deceased's profession. Moses Dov son of Zvi Arie  was a medical doctor and the Rod of Asclepius is also  a symbol of medicine and health care.

But the back of the gravestone first puzzled me. Originally the name of the doctor had been written in Latin letters, but that had been erased, leaving only the death date in Latin letters. 

This MD who had studied in one of the big cities in Europe to become a medical doctor - perhaps in Lwow (Lemberg) or in Vienna, Austria - had also been a part of a more modern  life. 

In many of these big cities,  Jewish tombstones had texts both in Hebrew and with the name in Latin letters. This was probably the reason the family thought  they would do the same here.

So who removed the name in Latin letters? I now believe this could have been done by more traditional religious Jewish elements in Lubaczow who wanted to keep the texts in the cemetery in Hebrew.

The fact that this man was a medical doctor and that we have the exact date of death - March 16th 1885 - will hopefully one day help us discover his family name. Perhaps his death was published in a Jewish or non-Jewish newspaper at the time?


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