Monuments & Jewish Symbols

Both Or Emet and Temple Emeth Memorial Park have traditional upright monuments and adhere to strict regulations regarding size and types of granite allowed.

The heading on most Jewish monuments is an inscription of the abbreviation ‘פנּ, which stands for po nikbar, meaning “here lies.” At the bottom of most Jewish monuments is the abbreviation ת נ צ ב ה, a quote from I Samuel 25:29 meaning, “May his/her soul be bound up in the bond of eternal life.”

Jewish Symbols

  • Menorah – The Menorah, a symmetrically (7) branched candlestick, represents the nation of Israel and its mission to be a “light unto the nations.”
  • Star of David – The Star of David is one of the most recognized symbols in Judaism. It is seen on many Jewish Monuments.
  • Eternal Flame – The Eternal Flame symbolizes God’s eternal presence and the spirit of life, which is so unique to human beings, and seems to never disappear.
  • Hands – Hands held in this position symbolize those who have inherited a priestly heritage. The majority of those who have this priestly heritage have had the last name Cohen—a name that literally means “priest” in Hebrew. They are those who have descended from Aaron, the brother of the ancient prophet Moses.
  • Pitcher – Gravestones for Levites of Ashkenazi descent often feature the Levite symbol of a pitcher in reference to the Levites’ traditional duty to wash the hands of the temple priest (the Cohen) prior to religious worship.
  • Candlestick – Candlesticks on a headstone usually symbolize the final resting place of a woman.

Other symbols may include bookshelves to indicate a scholar, Tzedakah box for one that was charitable, Shofar for one that blew the Shofar, Lions representing the tribe of Judah, tree stump for a life that was cut short, a pair of tablets symbolizing the Ten Commandments, and other more contemporary symbols like those for a physician, veteran or Holocaust survivor.