I'm going to "link" this question to something in this week's parsha (Torah reading):

Genesis 35:20:

וַיַּצֵּ֧ב יַעֲקֹ֛ב מַצֵּבָ֖ה עַל־קְבֻרָתָ֑הּ הִ֛וא מַצֶּ֥בֶת קְבֻֽרַת־רָחֵ֖ל עַד־הַיּֽוֹם׃

And Jacob set up a pillar upon her grave; It is the pillar of Rachel’s grave unto this day.

The Torah does not state that there was any inscription on the pillar. I assume that it was just a pile of stones arranged in a some shape so that people passing by would recognize that there was a grave there.

AT what point did it become common to engrave tombstones? Was / is it done for strictly personal reasons or are there halachot or minhagim that indicated that tombstones must or should be engraved rather than just leaving a pile of stones?

  • 1
    From Masheches Shekalim 7 רשב"ג אומר [ג] אין עושין נפשות לצדיקי' דבריהם הן הן זכרונן , it seems like they did write on the stone so people would be remembered – sam Nov 24 '15 at 16:57

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