Abbreviations and Rashe Tevot in Hebrew Funeral Inscriptions - Deciphering and Problems
There is no doubt about the significance of Jewish cemeteries as sources of genealogy, history and art history. Almost all the Hebrew inscriptions contain some kind of abbreviations – either words written incompletely or ‘Rashe Tevot’, where each letter stands for one word. The reasons are many, e.g. the limited space of a tombstone, reducing the costs for the mason, the reluctance to write words considered as negative in full. The abbrevations of blessings usually do not present any difficulties, as a rule the same applies to quotations from the Tenakh. However, ad hoc abbrevations as well as the abbrevation of familiy names and of names of places often raise severe problems. The paper will address these problems with many examples.
Frowald Gil HUTTENMEISTER