Letters on Memorial Plaques

Michael Benstock (toledo@loom.com.au)
Wed, 09 Jul 1997 16:51:43 +1000

"Michael J. Savitz" <MSAVITZ@ROPESGRAY.COM> wrote:
<<While visiting a Sephardi shul(synagogue) overseas recently, I noticed
that on each of the memorial plaques in the back of the shul, the following
Hebrew letters were inscribed after the name of the decedent: tav, nun,
tzadi, bet, hey (in that order), each letter followed by a period. I was
curious as to what these letters stood for, but nobody at the shul was able
to tell me. Does anyone know the significance of these letters?>>

These are the first letters of the words "t'hi nafsho(a) serura b's'ror
hahayyim" -- "may his (her) soul be bound up in the bond of eternal life."
These words are common on both Sephardi and Ashkenazi grave stones. What
Michael may also have noticed is that a man's name in a Sephardi synagogue
is prefaced with the words "hashshem hattov" ("the good name"). This is not
common practice among Ashkenazeem.

Keep travelling
Michael