777 reputation
311
bio website
location California, USA
age
visits member for 3 years, 10 months
seen Nov 14 at 8:21

I am a former computer programmer/technical writer and am currenlty retired. I have been involved in researching genealogy in the Spis Region of Slovakia and certain towns in Poland. Since there are almost no Jews living in the Spis Region now, I have a colleague, an Evangelical Christian, living in Kezmarok, who has undertaken to travel and photograph tombstones in the abandoned/destroyed/neglected Jewish Cemeteries there.

Since 2004, he has e-mailed me these photographs and I have translated and captured relevant information from the tombstones. He has also found birth, marriage, and death records for the same towns, and we maintain spreadsheets of this information. We also published a small book about our findings.

People looking for their ancestors have benefited greatly from this information.

Some of my questions are a direct result from my on-going research and attempts to understand what I cannot find anywhere else.


Oct
3
comment What is the meaning of surnames that number-related?
I'm tired of having to defend this topic. I thought it might have been of interest to understand why some Jews had names related to numbers. I don't care what they represent in the secular world, where a 17=17. These names are somewhat unusual and thought they might have been chosen because of a connection to something in the Torah, Talmud, Kehila, Halachot, Mesorah, and so forth. I provided some specific names to which people could respond and that's all I could think of at the time. If you folks feel this it totally of topic, then just pull it. Too bad you don't have sufficient interest.
Oct
1
comment What is the meaning of surnames that number-related?
This deals with Jewish people and their Germanic-based names. It took me a while to realize Sibziner was a version of Siebzehner. All the number-names I showed were of Jewish people. So why is this not related to Judaism? Especially if I want to find out if 17 had any special Judaic connection. This person was living in Galicia, not Germany. Ashkenazi Jews for the most part did not have family names until edicted by the Hapsburg emperor in 1780s and/or by Napoleon ca. 1814, in other areas, so this relates to the history of the Jewish people and the names that they now bear.
Sep
29
asked What is the meaning of surnames that number-related?
Sep
24
awarded  Autobiographer
Jul
20
revised Stepping back, forward and bouncing 3 times, after Shmoneh Esrei
Most questions about Shmoneh Esreh appear written and responded to by men. So this is from a woman's perspective and other women questioners. I also added about copying the younger, better-educated women.
Jul
2
awarded  Curious
Feb
4
awarded  Yearling
Dec
15
asked Are gold (or silver) jewelry charms considered avodah zarah?
Nov
8
comment Community/Synagogue Honorifics
I learned a bit more about No. 8, the אנשי שם קרואי מועד Anshei Shem Kruei Moed. It would seem that if the community didn't have a head rabbi, that they had a group of honorable men who comprised a council and could make decisions on behalf or for the community. See also Devarim (Numbers) 16:2, with the words slightly rearranged.
Feb
4
awarded  Yearling
Oct
25
revised Where can I find Prenumeraten/Prenumeranten?
edited title
Sep
20
comment Becoming Bnei Eretz Yisroel on Yom Tov
Please comment on the "ownership of land in Israel" as being a criteria for keeping only one day yom tov. Would owning burial plots in Israel be considered sufficient criteria in that case to keep only one day? Also, there are people who once came from chu"l to live in Israel, switching from 2 to 1, went back to chu"l, and kept 2, then come back to visit for numerous yamim tovim. So that's a lot of switching back and forth. Hard to know what to do when!
Jul
7
comment Non-Jews Tending to Abandoned Cemeteries
OK, the opinion I got from the rabbi who had relatives buried in such a cemetery, was that this should not be a problem. As some of you have indicated, even the Jewish organizations who do restorations employ non-Jews. It probably is not necessary to have a Mashgiach, if they can be relied upon to do the work in a respectful manner. I think I can live with that and not worry about it any more! The rabbi felt these people are really doing a very good thing. I'll add, ken yirbu! Thanks everyone!
Jul
4
comment Non-Jews Tending to Abandoned Cemeteries
I always appreciate the responses I get from everyone -- isn't that really the best raison d'etre of this website anyway? Since submitting this question here, I also managed to submit a similarly worded question to a rabbi who has visited such a cared-for cemetery because of an ancestor buried in it. I'm hoping he'll have an answer or psak for me. If so, I'll be glad to share!
Jul
4
revised Non-Jews Tending to Abandoned Cemeteries
edited title
Jul
3
awarded  Nice Question
Jul
3
comment Non-Jews Tending to Abandoned Cemeteries
For me it is worrisome -- have they been doing an averah? Have I been encouraging them to continue this work? The valuable information they have helped collect through their efforts have helped people living today to reconnect with their ancestors. Many rabbanim have visited from Israel, USA, and elsewhere and have been very grateful for their efforts.
Jul
3
asked Non-Jews Tending to Abandoned Cemeteries
Jun
19
awarded  Scholar
Jun
19
accepted Community/Synagogue Honorifics