Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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In memory of no one

Beautiful plaque on a monumental pedestal with no names or inscription on it.
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Note: An English translation of the Jewish terms follows the description.

One Shabbat morning on the way to shul, I noticed a new monument at the roundabout on the main road of my neighborhood. It was a beautiful wood and rock monument with a large plaque at its center, but with nothing inscribed on it. I stopped and stared at it for a few minutes. Within a few minutes some other people passing by stopped and joined me looking at the monument. Then a group of teenagers passed by and joined us.

I think its a work of genius, I said. Its a monument in remembrance of no one, coming to say that we hope no one ever gets killed again in war or car accidents.

I don't think its that deep, said a lady. It looks to me like one of those abstract works of art scattered in the rest of the city and mean nothing, like "the rotten tooth" over there, that was supposed to look nice with the water running down it, but the fountain was closed because of the drought.

I think it has to do with shapes. The square slab is not a plaque but rather a football field in an aerial picture. - said one of the teenagers.

There was an old couple that had just stopped when the discussion started and the man said: They simply didn't finish it on time for Shabbat, and will continue the inscription on Sunday.

Everybody turned to the guy and said: Naaaah!


Shabbat: Saturday. The Biblical Sabbath day. In Israel, the national day off, and according to law no public work is allowed. Pronounced Shabboss or Shabboth in original Hebrew accents.

Shul: The Jewish ("orthodox") synagogue. People walk to the shul, since it is prohibited by religious decree to drive on Shabbat.

pashute, Nov 19 2012


       When somebody collides with it and dies, will they then inscribe his name on it?
RayfordSteele, Nov 19 2012

       That's the humorous possibility of this idea. This monument placed perhaps somewhat hazardously with not just a blank but open inscription area with a futile and purposeless intention of preventing something inevitable from happening by increasing attention to it, however if nothing was placed there would be an even greater dearth of meaning.   

       It raises a question: what is more meaningful something that has no message, something that defies its own message, or to have nothing there?   

       That simple existential question that we direct towards ourselves and others (people and things) is the function of all art: what does this mean? Whether it is a word or symbol on a page, or anything. Everything starts out absurd, starting with the illiterate person, and meaning is slowly built into everything.
rcarty, Nov 19 2012

       On Sunday they put up the names of a driving teacher named if I remember correctly Emil, and his wife who perished in a car accident.
pashute, Nov 19 2012

       Someday, we are going to hit a point where every inch of real estate will be some kind of memorial to something and every day will become some holy observance. And then it will just start over.
RayfordSteele, Nov 19 2012

       Just as long as when people ask who the monument is for, a sinister old man tells them not to ask, because it is for them.
DrCurry, Nov 19 2012

       The plaque won't stay blank; graffiti artists with battery-powered scribers will quickly find opportunities to leave messages.
Vernon, Nov 20 2012

pashute, Nov 23 2012


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