At St. Charles Monuments we provide Long Islanders with top-of-the-line, custom, headstones by combining excellent customer service with the beautiful craftsmanship of our upright cemetery monuments. St. Charles Monuments has been serving the Jewish community for over 65 years and are especially sensitive to the practices of this faithful community. We understand what a loss feels like, and we also understand the importance of maintaining Jewish traditions during these times of loss. Below we have explained one such tradition, examining why people place stones on the headstone of their deceased loved one.
Seeing a Stone upon a Headstone
When a person climbs a mountain they often leave a small stone at the summit to mark their presence. Then when the next mountain climber reaches the top and sees all of the stones, there is a feeling of community as the moment is reflected upon. This is similar to the Jewish tradition, as when one comes to the grave and sees the stones upon their loved one’s headstone they are often comforted by the sight. By seeing these stones they are reminded that their loved one has been visited, mourned for, respected, and honored by the presence of others who’ve visited their memorial.
Why We Place Stones upon a Grave
Placing a stone upon a cemetery monument is an aspect of the mitzvah tradition, which commemorates the burial of the deceased. A mitzvah, generally speaking, is a good deed, and directly it is known as a commandment given by God.
Why do people place a stone and not flowers on a jewish monument? A stone is considered a symbol of the lasting presence of the memory of the deceased’s life. Additionally, it is the history of grave marking with stones, which has continued on to today.
In our long history, before grave markers such as headstones came into favor, graves were marked with stones. The community and the bereaved helped to preserve the grave, working together, as they each placed a stone at the site with each visit. Graves were marked to show the burial of a loved one, yes, but it was also very important to mark the grave in order to prevent such impure actions as inadvertently stepping or bending over it.