Why Do We Place Stones At A Grave?

The Symbol of the Stone at the Grave

Have you ever wondered why Jews leave stones at the graves of their loved ones? Our Jewish faith teaches us to respect, mourn, remember, and care for the dead. Leaving stones at your loved one’s grave is a way of doing just that, for long after they have left this world.

StonesFrom the moment someone passes away, we go to great lengths to care for them. Not only in memory, by planning a respectful funeral that reflects the kind of life they lived, but also physically – as some opt for the ritual ceremony of Taharah (please see our previous blog post here) – and spiritually, by having a Shomer sit with them, ensuring they are never left alone. Visiting a loved one’s grave offers you time to reflect, meditate, and remember them. Leaving stones there commemorates those you’ve lost, as well as your visits.

So, why do we leave stones rather than flowers that you may see in a secular cemetery? There are two reasons for this. The first one being that the stone symbolizes permanence. We wish for our loved one’s soul to live eternally in the world to come. Flowers may be beautiful, but they do not last – their beauty fades, and petals fall – while a stone remains sturdy even against the elements. The second reason being that in life, flowers symbolize luxury, a prize or even status. Judaism tells us that in death, like in birth, we are all equal. We are all rocks against the elements to stand the test of time.

 

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One Response to Why Do We Place Stones At A Grave?

  1. Estelle Goldenson says:

    In Memory of my spiritual family that perished in the Holocaust. which I published a book , in the Dc. National Holocaust Museum. “Tearful Memories”\
    I always felt something missing never having a cemetary to go to and mourn , meditate and comonmerate, I felt a great loss besides the loss of ever knowing them. I took the opportunity to place their spirits with my best friend a Great Dane named Punky and Placed in this magnificient parkland of love Where I i could go and leave stones. Plant a Dogwood tree and a bird feeder and it is such a place of soloce and peace, where I was surrounded by magnificient trees with photos of the family I never got to know.. because of War and cruelty into a place of peace and harmony. I burn yztiet candles there and I connect with their spirits which are full of loving energy. I know this sounds odd or even crazy , but now I have a grave to go to and know my Punky is nourishing the fertile and blessed place I can go and communicate in a telepathic energy that always leaves me with a whole feeling of knowing and being able to show my love and feeling totally blessed by their Presense, If anyone wants more information about a simliar situation. I can only tell you . for me, It presents a type of healing that nothing else can fill that emptyness, and yet I found a way to have the knowledge that they are here in this beautiful and loving place that I can go and just feel such gratification knowing they are still with me. The Park I am speaking of at Baltimore County Humane Society. where funerals and cemetary are also handled with delicate empathy and the kind of support you would find as loving as Sol Levenson. . When I lost last of my 8 Great Dane generations . That is when I decided it would also be approriate and respectfull to have a place to pay my respects. Have a funeral in Memory of loved ones you never got the chance to know. It seems like a very Healing and repectful tradition I suggest. really knowing that they had to die or be buried in the way they did. This way I have a place to go and pray. NEVER AGAIN. SHANA TOVA. I have known the Levenson family for many years and hope maybe he can do something similiar to commemorate our lost loved ones and a place to leave stones and know they are resting in Peace. estelle goldenson EGP pen name. Shana Zahavi,, Golden Beauty,
    Zahavi’s was the name of my Dadss. (Jack Goldenson. of Jacks Corned Beef. but is 4 th , grocery store was on Walbrook junction. and he hoped he named it Zahavi;s hoping it would turn out to be a Gold mine Peace

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