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ViewMate Posting VM 94581

Submitted by Sue Ann Kahn

Information Picture Question
Category: Translation - Tombstone
Approval Date: 7/28/2021 12:05 PM
Family Surname: Levitt
Date of Image: 1920
Click the picture to enlarge

Could someone please translate this tombstone? Thanks.

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On  Response 
7/28/2021 1:41 PM Hello Sue Ann,

A partial translation....

"Here lies the Rabbi, Reb Eliezer Yoel, Ben/(son of) Reb Chaim Zalman Halevi.......who died on the 10th day of the Hebrew month of Teves (followed by the Hebrew year). May his soul be bound up in the bonds of life".

In this case, he was actually a Rabbi per the specific wording on the tombstone. In addition, the word Reb is used preceding his double given name as a title of respect, as is done preceding the double given name of his father. Also, his father was a Levite, a designation of patrilineal lineage, going from father to son since the times of the ancient Temple.

Jo
7/28/2021 2:22 PM Here lies

the Rabbi, Rabbi ELIEZER YOEL

son of Reb Chayim Zalman the Levite

the author of the book "Chidushei Maharai"

and the book "Pri Zekaynim"

He passed away the 10th of Tevet 5681

May his soul be bound up in the bond of life.

================================================

'Reb' is an honorific; his father was not a rabbi. Both he and his father were Levites, as explained by the first helper. This is a designation that goes back further than the temples, to Levi, one of the twelve sons of Jacob. Levites had special functions in the religious life of the Jewish community, and in the temple, and still have special recognition - and functions -- to this day.

His date of death, the 10th of Tevet, is a minor Jewish fast day; it begins the "three weeks of mourning" of the destruction of both temples.

The 10th of Tevet of the year 5681 began at sunset on December 20th, 1920, and ended at sunset on the 21st.

I did some googling in reference to the books that he wrote.
The first one can be seen here: https://www.hebrewbooks.org/38627.
The page shown is the title page. The two-word title of the book, which appears in the largest letters, can be seen on the stone at the left end of the 3rd line. His name, Eliezer Yoel, appears at the right end of the third line from the bottom of the title page, and at the left end of the first line on the stone. His father's name, Chayim Zalman, are the 4th and 5th words from the right on the same line on the title page, and are the second and third word in the second line on the stone. It seems to say that his father was from Kovno, but I might be misreading this. It also says that the deceased had been a rabbi in Troy (New York) and was later rabbi in Portland, Maine.

The second book can be seen here: https://hebrewbooks.org/39340.
The title can be seen on the fourth line of the stone. His name appears at the right of the fifth line of the title page (which also makes reference to his previous book; its title is abbreviated). Again, it says that he had been rabbi in Troy, New York, and then was rabbi in Portland.
7/28/2021 4:32 PM Hello Sue Ann,

To clarify my response....

Rabbi Louis Levitt is addressed by the title "HaRav, Reb". This indicates that he is actually a Rabbi, and then the word Reb follows (which is customary to show respect preceding the given name(s) of a Jewish male).

There is no Hebrew word inscribed to indicate that the father was a rabbi, however "Reb" is used preceding his double given name to show respect. Following the name of the father is the word "HaLevi", which indicates that the father carried forward the designation of The Levite. If the son was born of a Jewish mother, he too would have been born with that designation.

Jo

7/28/2021 11:10 PM submitter who wrote ""His date of death, the 10th of Tevet, is a minor Jewish fast day; it begins the "three weeks of mourning" of the destruction of both temples." - this statement is not true. The submitter is mistaking the 10th of Teves for the 17th of Tamuz! Both are fast days, but only the latter begins the "three weeks".
7/29/2021 2:56 PM Just to maybe clarify some of what the previous well intention-ed respondents wrote.
The respected Rabbi & Scholar Rabbi Levitt died on the 10th day of the Hebrew month of Teves. In 588 BCE, on that day Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylonia, besieged the city of Jerusalem in the year 3336, (425 BCE).
Since then it has been a traditional day of mourning and fasting.
The Three Weeks period mentioned commemorate the breaching of the walls of the city on the 17th Day of Tammuz and the ultimate tragic destruction of the Holy Temple on the 9th day of Av.
He was originally from "Kovno" Kaunas,Lithuania.
I looked up his seferim (books) he wrote.
In his first volume of Talmudic Scholarship, "Chidushei Maharai" published in 1904, he wrote in his introduction that he was a student of the renown "Bais Halevy" Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik who headed the famed Yeshiva in Volozhyn before becoming the Rabbi of Brisk.
On the last page he thanks his son Reuven Yaakov and his daughter in law Rachel, & his son Mordechai Hersh & his daughter in law Sheina.
Here is a link to his page on a website devoted to Rabbi's and their wives. The comments have more information about him.
https://kevarim.com/rabbi-eliezer-yoel-levitt/
7/29/2021 6:56 PM https://kevarim.com/rabbi-eliezer-yoel-levitt/

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