15 December 2015

Tombstone Tuesday: Abraham and Lillian Feldman, Beth Moses Cemetery, Pinelawn, NY

I recently wrote about Abraham Feldman and Lillian Feldman, from Polonne who purchased an advertisement in support the 1949 anniversary publication of the First Lubiner Progressive Benevolent Association. They are buried in the landsmanshaft plot at Beth Moses Cemetery (block 24, Maccabee Road) in Pinelawn, Long Island, New York.

The top part of the tombstone includes the ten commandments (on a tablet held between the lions) and the abbreviation (at the bottom) for "May their souls be bound in the bonds of the living" - a standard statement on most Jewish tombstones.


Here lies
A woman of valor, who can find her?
Our beloved mother, a God-fearing woman
Her children rise and praise her
Chaye Liba bat Noach Feivel
Died 20 Kislev 5757
DEC. 15, 1930 - DEC. 1, 1996 
Here lies a good and honest man
Who guards the Mitzvot and loves the Torah
And loved and gladdened people with all his heart
Avraham Abba son of Moshe
Died 2 Shevat 5748
FEB. 5, 1905 - JAN. 20, 1988

The epitaph on Lillian's tombstone reflects a portion of Proverbs Chapter 31, "Woman of Valor," often sung by a husband to his wife at the Friday night Shabbat table. Here is a fairly traditional version.

The first full line ("A woman of valor...") is part of line line 10, Chapter 31 and the third line ("Her children rise...") is from line 28. Chapter 31, in its entirety describes one hard-working, worthy woman - it make me tired just reading it.

I am indebted to, Robin Meltzer (especially), and Ellen Rosenberg Portnoy, Israel Pickholtz, Zev Steinhardt and Chaia Beckerman for not only their translations, but also their educational guidance in placing this text into its traditional context. They all responded to my posts on Tracing the Tribe FaceBook page. And, of course, thanks to Schelley for maintaining this useful electronic venue.

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