VILKAVISKIS A small town in Southern Lithuania Where the Jewish Community is no more
In memory of 71a
Rest in Peace 72a
Yitzach Ari 72ab
the old man
Ari son of Zvi 95c
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
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.
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 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.
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.