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Showing posts from November, 2017

Kohen Hands and the Letters Peh Nun (פנ) in a Jewish Cemetery

To put it simply (and this may even be an over simplification) a set of hands carved and placed over a tombstone in a Jewish cemetery are called Kohen (or Kohain, or Kohanim ) hands, and represent a priestly blessing. The staff at explain that a kohen "is a descendant of the sons of Aaron who served as priests in the Temple in Jerusalem." Lorne Rozovsky at delves further: According to the Torah, Jacob had twelve sons. Each son was the founder of one of the twelve tribes of Israel. Each tribe had a separate territory, with the exception of the tribe of Levi. During the Exodus, when the Israelites made the Golden Calf, only the Levites refused to worship it. As a result, they were appointed servants to G‑d. Of the members of this tribe, those who were descended from Aaron, brother of Moses, became the kohanim . Aaron was the first kohen , and also the first high priest. The priestly blessing is a ceremonial prayer recited by the kohanim, wh

Requiem Aeternam Dona Eis (Even More Latin in the Cemetery)

Image taken April 2011 at Rose Hill Cemetery in Macon, Bibb County, Georgia. Joseph Paul Powell, III (1959-2010) Mr. Powell, son of Christine Harkness Powell, was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution and the Sons of Confederate Veterans.  Two lines on his granite ledger marker are in Latin: Requiem Aeternam Dona Eis. Domine: Et Lux Perpetua Luceat Eis. This prayer for the dead translates to English as follows: Grant Them Eternal Rest, O Lord. And Let The Light Shine Upon Them.

The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. And He said to me, "Son of man, can these bones live?"

So I answered, "O Lord God, You know."

Again He said to me, "Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, 'O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!' Thus says the Lord God to these bones: 'Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live...'" (Ezekiel 37:1-5, NKJV)