Yesterday I attended the stone setting of two members of our family.
In the Jewish religion the funeral takes place as soon as possible after death and is therefore rushed. The stone is laid and the grave consecrated normally one year later. It’s not like a Christian memorial service but there are eulogies. In this case there was some delicacy as one of the deceased had lost all her family aged 16 during the holocaust, about which she never spoke. As her son said by the graveside “The past was forbidden territory with no entrance visa”: her family were one of 6 million who died without a grave. One can only imagine the trauma of not knowing wther they were alive or not. Those who criticise Israel and say that the holocaust isn’t a Palestinian problem, though their spiritual leader the Grand Mufti spent the whole of the Second World War beside Hitler and approved the final solution, might take note that the descendants of such families in Israel are surrounded by those pledged to destroy them once again simply because theirs is a Jewish state.
There was a simple tablet on the grave of the deceased – for her father, mother and brother, who died aged 41, 36 and 10. As the son said, had not the mother taken her daughter aged 11 to England in 1936, to the custody of her grandmother in Hendon, and returned to her fatal end, three generations would not have been there, or indeed anywhere.