Monday, August 24, 2015

The oldest gravestone ( March 1728). The latest gravestone ( Dec 1940).

The oldest gravestone: Ita daughter of Yaakov / Jakob in March 1728

Imagine it is back in March 1728, and a woman named Ita has just been buried in this cemetery. It seems to be the first grave on this cemetery. 
Imagine a field, an open area, around the grave, purchased outside the little town by Jews living in Lubaczow. 

How old was Ita when she died?
Was she married? We don't know.
As this was nearly three hundred years ago, she probably did not have a family name.

Where did the family make the gravestone?
How long, after the funeral, was the gravestone put on her grave?

The text on the gravestone says, in Hebrew:

'החשובה והצנ
'והחסודה מר
 יטה בת מהורר
יעקב שנפטרה 
והלכה לעולמה
ביום ו לחודש 
ניסן תפח לפק

(Pawel Sygowski and Andrzej Trzcinski: Zydzi Lubaczoescy i ich cementarz. Rocznik Lubaczowski Tom VIII. lUBACZOW 1998)

Latest grave:  Sprinca  MOND in Dec. 1940

Now imagine it is December 1940.  A woman named Sprinca MOND had died.

  • When the Second World War broke out in September 1939, Lubaczow was occupied for less than a month by the German Army. Then came the Soviet occupation, and by Dec 1940 Lubaczow has been under Soviet rule for around 15 months. The Soviet authorities did not look upon any religion as a positive part, so just having a Jewish burial at the cemetery must have been a challenge.

Those attending the funeral would have come from the street, walking along the cemetery walls Joe Reinfeld paid for back in 1930.

They would have entered through the main gate.

From where they buried Sprinca MOND, those who attended the funeral could look down on a fairly big open area inside the cemetery walls.

Where did the family find the resources to make a gravestone, after being occupied since September 1939?
Where was the gravestone made? 
How long did it take before the family could put the stone on her grave?

Here, on Row 30, Grave 28, is that gravestone in a series of photos taken on different occasions:

Here is my attempt to copy the text on this gravestone. 
Corrections are welcome. 
One such correction from Simon G.: The first  word in the fifth line is נזר
(crown). Thatmeans that this woman, among other descriptions, was "their crown of glory" . Thanks, Simon! 

שוכנת אשה כשרה
פאר לבניה היתה
רבה במידות ובמעשים
יקוננו עלי' הבנים
.....נזר תפארתם 
צנועה זכה וישרה
אשת חיל שמה לברכה
האשה היקרה מרת שפרינצא
במהר משה ארי ז"ל

שפרינצא מאנד

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