14 October 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: Batya Lifshe bat Naftaly Hertz, Labun Jewish Cemetery

In June of 2013 I had the pleasure of visiting Ukraine and Labun (now Yurovshchina; once called Lubin in Yiddish), my paternal grandparents' community. We were able to visit the old Jewish cemetery, which I discussed in an earlier post. Over the next several Tuesdays I will post photos and translations (as I am able to decipher) of tombstones from that cemetery. Most do not feature surnames.

Here lies
A pure and proper woman
Batya Lifshe
daughter of Naftaly Hertz
died Rosh Chodesh Shevat 5670
May her soul be bound in eternal life

This stone was very difficult to read in the color image I collected on-site. I changed it to black and white and did some enhancements in iPhoto to make it a bit more readable.

Translation of the Hebrew benefited from the collective intellect of several knowledgeable researchers on Tracing the Tribe FaceBook page: Stephen Cohen, Smadar Gilboa-Nonacs, Zev Siberiano, Lara Diamond, Robin Meltzer and Sorin Goldenberg [Thank you!]. The second line, in particular, was challenging because the middle of it is difficult to read. It either reads "isha t'hara v'kashera" - a pure and proper woman; or, "isha t'hara yishara" - a pure and honest/upstanding woman [the word t'hara is abbreviated with only the letter tav]. In comparing occurrences of the letter yud in the epitaph, I believe that the last word in the line starts with a caf, not a yud. So, the word would be kashera (proper).

Batya Lifshe died on Rosh Chodesh of the month of Shevat. Rosh Chodesh is the new moon, i.e. the 1st day of the lunar month: 1 January 1910.[1]  Batya Lifshe's date of death was 11 January 1910 (Gregorian calendar) or 29 December 1909 (Julian calendar).

The names Naftaly and Hertz (Batya Lifshe's father's name) are often given together in Biblical reference to Jacob's blessing of his son Naftaly. Naftaly was compared to a swift deer. The deer at the top of the stone were likely an additional reference.

1. Date converted from the Hebrew to the Gregorian calendar via the calendar conversion tool on the Steve Morse One-Step website.

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