According to Jewish Law, as an honour to the deceased, a Monument is erected any time within a 12 month period to mark the grave. This comes from the Book of Genesis 35:20 where Jacob set up a pillar at his wife’s Rachel’s grave. Today tourists in Israel continue to visit “Rachel’s Tomb.”
An Unveiling Service is a graveside service marking the “unveiling” of the Monument to family and friends. An Unveiling Service is a North American custom and not required by Jewish Law. In modern times, an Unveiling service has become common practice. Generally, an Unveiling takes place any time between the end of Shloshim (end of the first thirty days) and the first Yahrzeit (anniversary of the death.)
The Prophet Ezekiel (39:15) commands that if bones of the dead are discovered “set up a sign by it.” From Biblical times to today Jews have continued to mark the place of their dearly departed. A Monument serves to mark the place where one is buried. It is also a form of remembering and honouring those that have passed away.