12 May 2007

Kosher for what?

This bittersweet story appeared in Friday's printed edition of Maariv, and I have not succeeded in finding an Internet version.

Walter Galler, a Jewish man, passed away on September 28, 1939 in Namibia. So what else is new, you shall undoubtedly ask?

The singularity of this case was that he had a local wife who obviously loved him and, willing to follow the custom of his husband's tribe, decided that a Hebrew text will appear on his tombstone, no matter what. The only problem was that the good wife did not know Hebrew. But she did not surrender and, after a feverish search she and her friends carried out, a matzo bread box was located. The was a Hebrew text on the box and, in addition, Kind David's star.

So this is the text that has appeared on the tombstone:

Here it is after some magnification:

For those unable to read Hebrew, the text "כשר לפסח"means "kosher for Passover". And even if you know your Hebrew, you will have to stand on your head to read it, since the engraver, not being an expert in the language, put the text upside down...

The tombstone was located recently, and the chief rabbi of the Jewish-African Congress decided to remove the text, seeing in it somewhat of an insult to his religion.

I don't know - it is rather a witness to the power of love, and I would have left it alone.

What about you?



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