09 September 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: Rachel, Labun 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 pleasant woman
Yachna Rachel 
daughter of Moshe
Died 5 Tammuz
5671  May her soul be bound in eternal life

A tree had grown around this tombstone and I am actually amazed that as much of it was still readable.

The adjective modifying "woman" on the first full line is cut off by the break in the stone. I am guessing that the full word may have been the Hebrew word chamida, which means "pleasant."

I am do not know what the word before Rachel may be. I am open to suggestions. [Thank you, Israel P, for the suggestion of the name Yachna].

With the Jewish Calendar Conversion application the 5th day of the month Tammuz in the year 5671 would correlate with 1 July 1911 in our (Gregorian calendar) and 18 June 1911 in the Julian calendar, which was in effect at the time of Rachel's death.


  1. The first name is Yachna. That might be a form of Yocheved, but I am not sure.

  2. The rows after the first do not seem to be cut off, so I am not sure why you see the first line as broken.

    1. You might be correct about that (now that I look more closely). For some reason I was recollecting that this one was broken, but, perhaps, not. Is chai mem an abbreviation? Thanks for all you help with this.

    2. Not anything relevant that I can think of. My book of initials lists maybe three dozen possibilities, including the undersigned, greedy, intestinal disease, the prelude to the Mashiah, condemned to death - you get the idea. Nothing I'd want on a mazeva.

      I have a guy who may have an idea.

    3. My friend R' Dovid Shapiro says "
      It's probably a formula that was commonly used in that locality, and you might find it written out on other matzevos in the same cemetery. For a wild guess I would suggest Choveves Mitzvos.

      (That would be "loved the Commandments.")

    4. Ha! "Loved the Commandments" would be the benign choice. I do so like "condemned to death," however. There would be a great story there!


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