PRE­CIOUS STONES

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMENT -

Bryan Shein­man’s prob­lems find­ing graves at Bushey ( JC, Oct 2) are repli­cated in many ceme­ter­ies. I have re­cently spent a lot of time search­ing for rel­a­tives’ graves in Ashke­nazi and Sephardi ceme­ter­ies, from United to Lib­eral. It has re­quired a lot of de­tec­tive work, find­ing the map in­di­cat­ing the let­tered sec­tions, then the sec­tions them­selves, then the rows, and fi­nally the ac­tual plots. The eas­i­est way is to search by date of the first burial of a cou­ple, as many of the signs in­di­cat­ing sec­tions and rows are miss­ing or worn.

The process has been ed­u­ca­tional, as I have learnt the burial and in­scrip­tion cus­toms of the dif­fer­ent ceme­ter­ies, and recog­nised many names as I wan­dered around the ceme­ter­ies (a sign of my age). Sadly, some of the older graves had lost their let­ter­ing. It has also high­lighted the need to treat the graves with re­spect. At one stone set­ting, I saw a rabbi and his friends walk across graves while us­ing their mo­bile phones. Mark Drukker, Read­ing, RG2

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