Why Do Jews Place Stones on Graves?

Posted on April 2, 2019 by Houston Jewish Funerals under Jewish Burial Customs
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Why do Jewish people have a custom of placing stones on graves of loved ones? There are many theories why this custom came about in Jewish culture.

Stones on Graves

It is a Jewish custom for those mourning to to place a single stone on top of the grave of a friend or loved one. The stones are typically found somewhere in the cemetery by those mourning.

There are several possible explanations for this custom:

Family Will Know Someone Visited

Stones being placed on a grave lets the family know that someone cared enough to visit the grave. It communicates that the loved one is still thought about and missed.

Honor the Deceased

The stones on a grave is a physical way to honor the deceased. Stones last longer physically than flowers. They are everlasting and permanent like the memory of the deceased.

It’s a Mitzvah

It is considered a mitzvah is to mark a grave with a stone. Each mourner adds a stone to the collection on the grave.

No matter what they reason you have for following the Jewish tradition of laying stones on a grave, the tradition is special and brings comfort to those who mourn.

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