VILKAVISKIS
          A small town in Southern Lithuania
Where the Jewish Community is no more
partial 2 In memory of 71a surname missing Rest in Peace 72a Yitzach Ari 72ab fragment 2 partial 119
partial 2 In memory of 71a surname missing Rest in Peace 72a Yitzach Ari 72ab fragment 2 partial 119
fragment 1 the old man Varshavski 81f Issacson 95a Ari son of Zvi 95c illegible 95b Yitzhak only
fragment 1 the old man Varshavski 81f Issacson 95a Ari son of Zvi 95c illegible 95b Yitzhak only
partial 1 partial 3
partial 1 partial 3
The art work on the gravestones in the Vilkaviskis Jewish cemetery are perhaps the only concrete items that we have left from the Jewish Comunity that was destroyed in 1941.

Many of the stones carry very moving inscriptions and some have beautifully engravings - I have tried to collect here pictures of these symbols with a short explanation of their meanings - I hope that these will be of interest to you.
Vilkaviskis Jewish Grave motives
art work 1 art work 1a art work 1b art work 2 art work 2a
art work 1 art work 1a art work 1b art work 2 art work 2a
HANDS
The hands held in benediction are the symbol of the Cohens, members of the priestly family of the tribe of Levi. The rabbi devinely blesses the congregation with this posture of the hands. The status of priest is hereditary and carries numerous rights and responsibilities.
hands 1 hands 2 hands 3
hands 1 hands 2 hands 3
The BROKEN BRANCH
The broken branch represents a break in life, that is mortality. There is a suggestion that life was cut short
broken branch broken branch 2 broken branch 3 broken branch 4
broken branch broken branch 2 broken branch 3 broken branch 4
ANIMALS - The LION
Animals are often a reference to the name of the deceased. The lion corresponds with the name Ari, Leib, Löw (Loew), etc. The lion is also the symbol of the tribe of Judah.
lion 1 lion 2 lion 3 lion 4
lion 1 lion 2 lion 3 lion 4
THE STAR
In Hebrew, the hexagram symbol is known as the Magen David [Hebrew for the Shield of David] and it is the most
common symbol on Jewish graves.
star star 2 star 3 star 4 star 5
star star 2 star 3 star 4 star 5
Fragments of Gravestones