Jewish Cemeteries – “Houses of Life”
(If are you hurry, scroll down, please)
They are often hidden away from people, neglected, as if deserted… they have however never been deserted completely. Ask the local people where they learned to smoke and where they had their first romantic experiences, ask those who remember more and if you are lucky, something that Heavens love most will open – a story. Sometimes it is a story of those who rest there, sometimes a story of those who helped them or harmed them.
Mankind is like a shrine characterized by two columns, Yakhin and Boaz – humanity and inhumanity. But only the story proves the connection. We wish to record all these stories – no matter what their taste– bitter or sweet. (In Czech at first, in English too than later)
By thorough documentation of each cemetery, we obtain the vital records for our own database. We can also deal with the various questions that invariably crop up such as; who are these people who have elaborate epitaphs carved on their tombstones and who were the people who engraved these holy words for them? We do not expect that every researcher will have the patience to “browse” through the complete KESHET – one gravestone after another – just to enjoy their magic and poetry. We therefore draw your attention to the most beautiful epitaphs in the Highlights section. There you will also find some difficult phrases that we are unable to translate reliably. We will be grateful to anybody who can help us in this. (Please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org )
KESHET means arch. We firmly believe that the existence of KESHET will inspire some of the researchers, historians and archivists and people who know how to use the power of words to add to the stories of the cemeteries with what they have encountered on their own journeys. Once they join the seekers of the collective memory of all of us (nation and mankind); they will understand the rule Never forget what you have met in life and teach it to your sons and grandsons. (Dt 4:9). Their contributions are welcome in the Archive resources section where we would like to publish all useful links to pages on the individual cemeteries.
If you have visited the chapter About us, you know that the aim of our organization is not only to record the various cemeteries, but also to help to rescue them from physical destruction. In our opinion it is useful to learn some facts about the present state of the cemetery. In the Descriptions section we present a short account of the present state of each cemetery, of its layout and overall character. Those interested in helping with the restoration can find necessary information to be able to assess the scale of work to be done. We get the information from our own experience, from literature and from the Internet. We are convinced that it is appropriate to state our source, even the Queen Esther “announced those matters to the King in the name of Mardoche” (Est 2:22), but if you do not wish to be quoted in the KESHET portal, please contact us.
For better orientation when visiting a cemetery, you will certainly welcome a plan (even if it is often quite primitive) with the introduction, how we organize the cemetery and how the individual graves are numbered.
Life is not only work, it is also Beauty. We are therefore considering to make it possible for everyone to enjoy the magic of the Czech and Moravian cemeteries in Virtual Tours.
Some of the benefactors who have taken these cemeteries to heart and sometimes even into their hands, also have stories. Their stories (toldot) need to be recorded as well. They will be found at a future date in the story section. We will rely on our most dependable living resource, Mr. Jiri Fiedler, for telling these stories, because of his good command of language and the ability to employ hyperbole and paradox. In the meantime, you will have to put up with little bits and pieces that we have managed to collect or have experienced.
The maybe most recommended and perhaps also welcomed section will become the section Calatogues, where can you find the list of already documented lokalities and useful lists /catalogues of documented cemeteries with necessary legend. (For your downloading)
Vhat you´ll find here ?
a) Descriptions (in English) of documented graveyards
b) Catalogues of surnames, lokalities etc
- with explainig, how to use the same web-site donne in Czech
c) Cemetery plans in section Orientation
d) Somme video highlights
f) Introduction how to use our Database
(Special thanks to Alex Woodle)