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Zembin Cemetery

The following pictures were taken by me in Zembin, Belarus on September 28, 1999 during a shtetl visit with JewishGen's ShtetlSchleppers trip.  These are just a few of the 47 photos that were taken at a Jewish cemetery in Zembin.  Due to space restrictions, we are unable to provide photographs of every stone, but have provided some examples of both easy-to-read and challenging stones.  This cemetery is located off the Borisov to Zembin road about 100 yards down a small hill.  The weather-worn stones are littered throughout a windswept field that has seen few visitors of late.  There are no Jews left in the town of Zembin.  Five of us spent a few hours in this cemetery with a paintbrush, a pair of hedge clippers and a small bag of flour we had purchased from a local woman.  We painted the flour on the stones to bring out the worn letters and then photographed any stone that could possibly be read.

These gravestones date from about 1812 to 1909.  As was custom during that time period, most of the stones do not contain surnames or dates of birth. Rather, they contain standard, humble text about the deceased with a given name and a patronymic.  Because of the very poor quality of the stones, some of the photographs could only be partially translated and some could not be translated at all.  Note that some of the translations are marked with an asterisk (*).  The  translations for these stones are still being finalized.

Many thanks to Danny Efrat and Rav Eliyahu Tavger for their translations of this challenging material.  I would also like to thank Barbara Epstein, Jim and Penny Krainin and Galina Swartz, without whose help these photos wouldn't have been possible.

Risa Heywood
Risah@ibm.net

Gravestone 1

Here buried
A man of Torah the old
Our teacher the rabbi Klonimus son of our teacher the rabbi
Ya’akov, and died on 3rd
Of Elul 5640 (Aug. 10, 1880)


Gravestone 2/Gravestone 36 *

Here buried
For those I am
Crying, on (those who are) lying here
My son (or sons) Yechezkel
(……….)
Year 5556 ? (1776)


Gravestone 3

Here buried
The honest and innocent man
Yehuda Leib Mordechai
son of Shlomo Zalman (….)
(….) 23rd of Shevat in the year
5642 (Feb. 12, 1882) T.N.Z.B.H (May his soul be bundled in the bundle of life)


Gravestone 4 *

Here buried
The innocent man our teacher rabbi
Ze’ev Wolf son of
Rabbi Meir (..) died
4th Adar in the year
5642 (Feb. 23, 1882) T.N.Z.B.H (May his soul be bundled in the bundle of life)


Gravestone 5

Here buried
An innocent
And honest man our teacher rabbi Aharon
son of Itzhak Lionardes
died 28th of Tevet 5648 (Jan 12, 1888)
T.N.Z.B.H (May his soul be bundled in the bundle of life)


Gravestone 6

B.H (With God’s help)
To the soul of
An innocent and honest man
Shmuel Grunem (?)
Son of Yechiel Michul
Itzhak died first day of
Sivan in the year 56.. (covered by grass)


Gravestone 7

An innocent and honest man our teacher rabbi
Yerucham son of Shmuel
died 18th Kislev
5655 (Dec. 16, 1894) T.N.Z.B.H (May his soul be bundled in the bundle of life)


Gravestone 8 *

Here buried
An innocent
And honest man our teacher rabbi Moshe
(….) son of Avraham
died 24th Tishrei 5655 (Oct. 24, 1894) T.N.Z.B.H (May his soul be bundled in the bundle of life)


Gravestone 9 *

An innocent and honest man our teacher rabbi
Aharon son of Yehuda
Leib died 1st
of Elul 5655 (Aug. 21, 1895)
T.N.Z.B.H (May his soul be bundled in the bundle of life)


Gravestone 10

Here buried
An honest man
Moshe Aharon
son of Avraham
Shifrin
died 4th of Elul year
5657 (Sep. 1, 1897) T.N.Z.B.H (May his soul be bundled in the bundle of life)


Gravestone 11

Here buried
A man of Torah, our teacher rabbi
Baruch son of Meshulam
Moshe died 4th of Iyar
year 5656 (Apr. 17, 1896)
T.N.Z.B.H (May his soul be bundled in the bundle of life)


Gravestone 12

Here buried
An innocent
and honest man our teacher rabbi Shmuel
son of Ya’akov
died (…) of Iyar 5660 (Apr. 30 – May 29, 1900)
T.N.Z.B.H (May his soul be bundled in the bundle of life)


Gravestone 13 *

Here buried
An innocent and honest man
our teacher rabbi Shnieor
Zalman El(iahu?)
son of Matit(yahu?) died
23rd of Iyar 5655 (May 17, 1895)
T.N.Z.B.H (May his soul be bundled in the bundle of life)


Gravestone 14

Here buried
A man of Torah (..) Yehuda
Leib, son of Asher Zelik
died 15th of Av 5654 (or 5655) (Aug. 17, 1894 or Aug. 5, 1895)
T.N.Z.B.H (May his soul be bundled in the bundle of life)


Gravestone 15

(….)

An innocent
and honest man our teacher rabbi
Ya’akov Shmuel
Son of Aharon died
First day of Av 5656 (July 11, 1896)


Gravestone 16

(….) the tombstone (..)
Of the modest woman Ms.
Sara daughter of Rabbi
Yechezkel (….)
died (…..)
in the year 5642 (1882)


Gravestone 17

(….) the dear (…)
(…..) Eliahu
(…) 28th Kislev in the year
(…..)T.N.Z.B.H (May his soul be bundled in the bundle of life)


Gravestone 18

Here buried
A man of Torah Rabbi Tzvi
David son of Mshulam Feitil? of blessed memory died
On the eve of Kislev (30th of Heshvan) in the year
5634 (Nov. 20, 1873)
T.N.Z.B.H (May his soul be bundled in the bundle of life)


Gravestone 19

A man of Torah our teacher and Rabbi
Yehuda Leib, son of Yosef
died 10th of Sivan
5636 (?) (June 2nd, 1876) T.N.Z.B.H (May his soul be bundled in the bundle of life)


Gravestone 20

The modest woman Sara
Dreize daughter of Dov Nathan
died 28th of Elul in the year
5632 (Oct. 1st, 1872)


Gravestone 21

The modest (woman)
Heine daughter of our teacher Rabbi
Moshe died 9th
of Av in the year 5610(?) (July 18, 1850)


Gravestone 22

An innocent and honest man
Yaakov (…..)
(…………)
(…………)


Gravestone 23

The old one? Simcha
(…) son of? Yechezkel


Gravestone 24

The old one the Rabbi
Shmuel son of Rabbi
David Segal died
On the first day of Shevat 5573 (Jan 2, 1813)


Gravestone 25

Here buried
The modest woman
Ms. Beile
(……)


Gravestone 26

A modest woman
Chana daughter of our teacher the Rabbi
(…….) Hacohen


Gravestone 27

Here buried
The woman
Elke daughter of
David? died


Gravestone 28

Here buried
The modest woman
Miriam daughter of Rabbi Chaim
died on the first day of Elul
in the year (56..)


Gravestone 29 (double stone) *
Here buried
The woman
Pu’a daughter of
Meir
died 5th
Shevat in the year
(……)
Here buried
The Rabbi
Itzhak son of
David? died
on 4th Tevet
in the year 5573 (Dec. 7, 1812)

Gravestone 30

Here buried the modest
Woman Ms. Esther
daughter of our teacher Israel
died 15th Adar
in the year 5588 (Feb. 29, 1828)


Gravestone 31

Unclear


Gravestone 32

Here buried
An innocent and honest man our teacher the Rabbi
Itzhak? Son of our teacher the Rabbi Yehonatan
(……) of Elul
(……...)
T.N.Z.B.H (May his soul be bundled in the bundle of life)


Gravestone 33

Unclear


Gravestone 34

Here buried
The woman
(Unclear)


Gravestone 35 *

Here buried
(……..)
(……) Itzhak
(..55)


Gravestone 36

Same as stone 2


Gravestone 37

Here buried
Hilel Mordechai
Son of Rabbi (….)
Died 14th (or 18th )
(….) Shevat in the year
(…….)


Gravestone 38

Here buried
the modest (woman) Ms.
…shasi daughter of our teacher
(Is)aschar Ber
died 9th ? Av
in the year 5608 (Aug. 8, 1848)


Gravestone 39

(…) the young man (…) Yosef
son of Ya’akov Eliezer
died (……) (Tishrei/Heshvan?)
5631 (1870)


Gravestone 40 *

(This) is
the tombstone (of)
a man of Torah our teacher
Dov Ber son of
Ya’akov who passed away
25th Iyar
5646 (May 30, 1886)


Gravestone 41

(only right half of the stone appears in the photo)
Here buried
Woman
daughter of our teacher Yechezkel
Zvi Hirsh
Iyar in the yeat
T.N.Z.B.H (May his soul be bundled in the bundle of life)


Gravestone 42

Same as stone 1


Gravestone 43

(this person may have been a Cohen)

Here buried
An innocent and honest man
Moshe son of Tzvi
died 13th Adar
in the year 5642 (or 5644) (Mar. 14, 1882 or Mar. 10, 1884)
T.N.Z.B.H (May his soul be bundled in the bundle of life)


Gravestone 44

Here buried
An innocent and honest man, observant of God, our teacher the Rabbi
Chaim Refael son of
Yehuda Leib died 1st/8th
Kislev in the year 5679 (Nov. 5/12, 1918)
T.N.Z.B.H (May his soul be bundled in the bundle of life)


Gravestone 45

This is the tombstone of
Ze’ev (….) (the right edge of the stone is missing in the photo)


Gravestone 46

Here buried
An honest man
Our teacher Meir Topper?
Son of Avraham died the night of
(…...) 5671 (1920/1921)


Gravestone 47

Here is the tombstone of
Our dear father, observant of God
Our teacher Ya’akov son of David
Faitilsohn
died 30th of Sivan
in the year 5669 (June 19, 1909) T.N.Z.B.H (May his soul be bundled in the bundle of life)