Q:

Why do some people leave rocks and pebbles on top of gravestones?

A:

Quick Answer

The custom of leaving rocks or pebbles on gravestones is an act of remembrance tied to the Jewish faith. The symbolic action indicates respect for the dead and serves as a sign that others have visited the deceased.

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Full Answer

Judaism considers the marking of graves with stones to be a "mitzvah," or good deed. The practice likely began as a way to mark gravesites to keep the living from inadvertently bending or stepping over a grave. Today, the act is a symbolic display of respect and remembrance. The stone is always placed with the left hand, and it is left on the gravestone as a reminder of the lasting presence of the dead.

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