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Book Notes: An account of the old Jewish Cemetery on Plymouth Hoe, Rabbi B. Susser

A. N.

<plain_text><page sequence="1">HISTORY IN STONES An account of the old Jewish Cemetery on Plymouth Hoe, by Rabbi B. S?sser, Plymouth Hebrew Congregation, 1975, 52pp., ?2. Historians have for a long time been aware of the evidence for early congregational history which could be found in cemeteries from grave? stone inscriptions and records of burial, but they have for too long been reluctant to admit that the collection of such materials was worth the effort involved. Rabbi Susser's book shames all such, representing as it does a combination of collection and interpretation, produced as a commemoration of his ministry in Plymouth between 1961 and 1965. The necessity for making such a record is only too well illustrated from a remark in his intro? duction, that in the 70 years since the Rev. Dr. Berlin made a transcription of 95 inscriptions, nearly half have already disappeared. But a mere record of inscription is insufficient: Rabbi S?sser has managed to identify most of the individuals mentioned, adding details from congregational records, wills, local notices, and even the details of the Census for 1851. He has not produced a history of the congregation, but it would be impossible to write a complete history without the full details he has here given. Not all history is encapsulated in these mem? orials, but much of the human emotion poured out over them has now become available. Historians will be grateful to Rabbi S?sser for his work, and would wish to give extra support to the task undertaken by Rabbi Dr. N. de Lange to record all pre-1900 inscriptions in Jewish burial grounds in the British Isles. It is to be hoped that before it is too late he will be able to establish a much fuller corpus of these early inscriptions. A.N. Copies of Rabbi S?sseres work can be obtained from Dr. H. Greenburgh, 28 Exmouth Road, Stoke, Plymouth, PL1 4QH.</page></plain_text>