Originally posted on May 30, 2014 on

I attended an unveiling last Sunday and it was a wonderful reminder of how one’s community comes together to support one another in times of need.

An ‘unveiling’ is the Jewish custom when the tombstone is uncovered. I have referenced Maurice Lamm’s 1969 publication The Jewish Way in Death and Mourning for his explanation.

The unveiling is the formal removal of the veil or cloth that symbolizes the erection of the tombstone. This ceremony is customarily held within the first year after death. My limited experience is that it is a fairly short ceremony with recitation of some Psalms, a few spoken words and the saying of Kaddish, which is the mourner’s prayer.

It is tradition to place pebbles on the monument, which according to Lamm is a custom that probably serves as a reminder of the family’s presence. He also notes that it may “hark back to biblical days when the monument was a heap of stones.” It serves as a reminder that someone was there- paying their respects.

The ceremony is typically followed by a meal at the mourner’s home.

The gathering of friends and family at the time of death and during the time of mourning can be a great consolation in terms of providing support and comfort for the family. This past Sunday, the sun was shining and the sky was blue. Laughter and memories were shared, along with a toast to Bernie.

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