When someone in the Jewish community dies, it is important to mark their passing with a headstone. This is known as a Matzeivah in Hebrew. A Matzeivah can be simple or ornate, depending on the person’s life and death. At Fox Monuments, we specialize in creating Jewish headstones and etching inscriptions onto them
. We provide monument inscription services all across New York.
What is Matzeivah?
A Matzeivah is a Jewish headstone that marks the passing of a loved one. This stone is usually placed in a cemetery and can be simple or ornate, depending on the person’s life and death. Fox Monuments specializes in creating Jewish headstones and etching inscriptions onto them. Additionally, we provide monument inscription services to existing headstones all across the Tri-State Area.
What is the Origin of the Matzeivah?
The origins of the Matzeivah date back to biblical times. In the book of Genesis, we read about how Jacob erected a stone pillar at Bethel after he had a vision from God (Genesis 28:18). This stone pillar later became known as Jacob’s Pillar or the Stone of Vision.
“And Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem. And Jacob erected a tombstone on Rachel’s grave” (Genesis 35:19-20)
Today, Jewish headstones are still made out of stone and they often have inscriptions with the person’s name, birth date, and death date. Sometimes there will also be a quote or bible verse etched onto the headstone.
Why is Matzeivah Important?
Matzeivahs are important because they help us remember our loved ones who have passed away. By having a physical headstone to visit, we can feel closer to them, even though they are no longer with us.
Whether you choose a monument that covers the grave, is a headstone, or a footstone, it serves 2 main purposes: to remember and to honor.
A monument is a physical embodiment of love that will last long after we are gone. It is a way for future generations to know who we were, what we did, and how much we loved them.
Inscription and Style of the Matzeivah
When you etch the inscription on a Jewish headstone, it should be done with great care and thought. This is because the words on the stone will be there forever. Think about what you want to say and choose your words carefully. The inscription should be something that will bring comfort to those who visit the grave. Additionally, it can be helpful to talk to a rabbi
about what to write on a headstone.
Here are some tips for writing a monument inscription:
– Keep it simple
– Use traditional Jewish symbols
– Write in Hebrew or English
– Include the person’s name, dates of birth and death, and any meaningful phrases or quotes.
Writing a monument inscription is a way to honor your loved one and keep their memory alive. Choose your words carefully and etch them into the stone with love.
When to Place the Matzeivah
While assumed that it must be placed 12 months after death, this isn’t true. In reality, it is usually placed immediately after shiva.
Fox Monuments will put the headstone in place. Then, the unveiling ceremony will be held after the Kaddish period. Typically, this is around a year following death.
The unveiling ceremony is a formal dedication of the Matzeivah. The rabbi will formally remove a veil, cloth, or handkerchief draped over the stone. The service has many elements, including the Kaddish
. Additionally, the rabbi will suggest placing pebbles on the monument
Matzeivah is the name that the Torah uses for a cemetery monument. It serves as an important symbol of honor. The headstone is placed as a reminder of the person’s life and their connection to the Jewish people. As such an important aspect of the mourning process, it is important to choose a Jewish monument company you can trust. Fox Monuments has decades of experience helping families create beautiful Matzeivahs. Give us a call today to get started.