Kosher Lithuanian Wheat Arrives in Israel, 13 Rabbis Supervised Shipment

Kosher Lithuanian Wheat Arrives in Israel, 13 Rabbis Supervised Shipment

Karolis Šimas, director of the Agrokoncerno grūdai company, says they have been preparing the sale of wheat to Israel from early in the summer of 2019. Certain procedures had to be follow to insure the wheat was certified kosher. Winter wheat can be found kosher but according to the requirements it cannot have contact with other kinds of grain. Israel’s special Office of Rabbi Landa service has to and did certify this. Even before the start of the winter wheat harvest, the grain elevators for the winter wheat were sealed under the supervision of a rabbi and a representative from Agrokoncerno grūdai. Several months later, before being loaded on a ship, the rabbi opened the storehouses and supervised the transport of the grain by automobile and railroad to the port.

At the port as the grain was being loaded onto the ship it was again checked thoroughly. Thirteen rabbis supervised and a total of 11 grain elevators and the storage facility at the port were sealed and unsealed, as was every train car and automobile carrying the grain. The elevators and the storehouse at the port had to be made extremely clean and so did the machinery for loading it, in order to receive the kosher seal.

Kosher grain cannot have contact with other grains, so all the storage spaces were cleaned to make sure not a single grain from earlier remained.

Full article in Lithuanian here.

Condolences

Elina Malomuž passed away January 12. She was born in 1962. We extend our deepest condolences to her mother Natalija and her daughter Olga. May you find comfort and strength of spirit in this difficult time of loss.

Condolences

In great sadness we report the death on January 15 of the long-time, active member of our community Vladimir Vakhman at the age of 77. He was born September 24, 1943, in Nazi-occupied Kiev. He only survived by being hidden until the Soviet army liberated the Ukrainian capital. Actually he didn’t see the light of day until then. Vakhman was well known to collectors and book lovers in Vilnius. Readers of Obzor know his translations from Lithuanian to Russian. Vladimir Vakhman will stay in our hearts forever as a conscientious fellow traveller who was always ready to help others. Our deepest condolences to his widow and children.

Lithuanian MP Wants It Known Lithuania and the Lithuanian People Didn’t Participate in Holocaust

Lithuanian MP Wants It Known Lithuania and the Lithuanian People Didn’t Participate in Holocaust

Photo: Jewish mass murder near Šiauliai, 1941, courtesy Yad Vashem

15min.lt
December 28, 2019

Arūnas Gumuliauskas, Lithuanian MP and chairman of the parliament’s Battles for Freedom and State Historical Memory Commission, is preparing a draft resolution stating the Lithuanian state under occupation and the Lithuanian people didn’t participate in the mass murder of Jews during World War II. The politician said separate individuals contributed to the Holocaust but that this was a matter for the courts to decide.

Gumuliauskas announced the draft resolution at the conference “2020: Global Trends and National Security: Insights, Challenges” on December 13, 2019, at the Lithuanian National Martynas Mažvydas Library.

In response to a question, the Lithuanian MP said the European Parliament had adopted a resolution on historical memory in 2009.

Lithuanian Jews Concerned over Possible Holocaust Legislation

Lithuanian Jews Concerned over Possible Holocaust Legislation

Photo: Adam Jones/Wikimedia

Lithuanian Government “shares concerns” of Jewish community over proposed Holocaust law

Lithuania’s Jewish community and members of the expatriate Lithuanian Jewish community in Israel have expressed serious concern about possible legislation in the parliament in Vilnius which would declare the Lithuanian state and people didn’t collaborate in the murder of Jews during the Holocaust.

Member of Lithuanian parliament Arūnas Gumuliauskas and chairman of its State Historical Memory Committee said last month he would propose legislation declaring the Lithuanian state didn’t participate in the murder of Jews because it was an occupied nation, first by the Soviet Union and then by Nazi Germany.

The parliamentary draft resolution has not yet been submitted to the parliament. The parliament goes into recess this Wednesday.

Gumuliauskas’s resolution, which he said was being prepared by the committee, would also claim the Lithuanian people could not have participated in the murder of Jews since Lithuanians were “an enslaved people” during World War II.

Full article here.

Lithuanian President Asks Who Is Accusing Lithuanian State of Carrying out Holocaust

Lithuanian President Asks Who Is Accusing Lithuanian State of Carrying out Holocaust

Lithuanian president Gitanas Nausėda declined commenting on a parliamentary resolution promised by Arūnas Gumuliauskas which would say the Lithuanian state and the Lithuanian nation didn’t take part in the Holocaust because they were occupied at that time. The president said the draft resolution hadn’t even been registered at the parliament yet.

“Who is making the accusation that Lithuania as a state and as a nation carried out the Holocaust? Are there such accusations? Really, I have nothing further to say on this, especially since I haven’t seen any such draft resolution for the parliament’s consideration. I don’t know, maybe such a resolution will be presented some day. If it is presented, then we can talk about it, but right now there is no such draft legislation and I’m going to Israel to participate in a Holocaust commemoration. … We have to see the resolution, what the content is, what the subtext is, then we can give a reaction,” president Nausėda told Lithuanian public radio and television.

The Lithuanian Telegraphic News Agency ELTA reminded its readers MP Gumuliauskas is preparing a parliamentary resolution which will say the Lithuanian state and the Lithuanian people didn’t participate in the mass murder of Jews during World War II. The MP has said separate individuals did contribute to the Holocaust and that that was a matter for the courts to decide.

The Lithuanian president is scheduled to travel to Israel on January 22 and 23 to attend the Fifth World Holocaust Forum.

Lithuanian Parliament Hosts Photo Exhibit “Brave Jews in the Battle for Lithuanian Freedom”

Lithuanian Parliament Hosts Photo Exhibit “Brave Jews in the Battle for Lithuanian Freedom”

The Lithuanian parliament is hosting a photo exhibit called “Brave Jews of the Battle for Lithuanian Freedom” in its exihibt space from January 2 to 15. The photo exhibit chronicles Lithuanian Jewish veterans who fought for Lithuanian independence in the run-up to the first republic in 1919, including a large number of officers, recipients of military awards and those who laid down their lives for the new state.

The Lithuanian Jewish Community and the Vytis Support Fund organized the photo exhibit. It was inspired by a similar exhibit at Yad Vashem on Austrian Jewish military heroes.

Israeli Ambassador Says Lithuania Experiencing Wonderful Phase in Search for Good and Bad in History

Israeli Ambassador Says Lithuania Experiencing Wonderful Phase in Search for Good and Bad in History

by Eglė Krištopaitytė, 15min.lt

Israel’s new ambassador to Lithuania Yossef Levy is enthusiastic about bilateral relations and is giving assurances the priority of the embassy under his leadership isn’t the past. Levy says Lithuania is currently undergoing a wonderful phase “when you grab a flashlight and look at your whole history, looking for both the good and the bad.”

In an interview with 15min.lt, the ambassador said discussions in recent months on historical memory are Lithuania’s internal issue which Israel is observing from the sidelines. “I am not an historian, but I sincerely believe the horrific period of World War II was a very tense moral test. Both for individuals and societies. Some passed this test, others didn’t. That goes for all the occupied territories in Europe,” Levy said.

Speaking about the conflict between Israel and Palestine, the ambassador told 15min.lt “we sincerely want to reach a peace agreement with out neighbors.”

Full text in Lithuanian here.

Anniversaries of Vilna Gaon and Marija Gimbutas Included on UNESCO List

Anniversaries of Vilna Gaon and Marija Gimbutas Included on UNESCO List

The anniversaries of two people from Lithuania have been put on the UNESCO list of anniversaries for 2020-2021, the Lithuanian National Commission for UNESCO said.

2020 will mark the 300th anniversary of Rabbi Elijah ben Solomon Zalman (1720-1797), the Gaon of Vilna.

The inclusion of this anniversary was backed by Belarus, Poland, the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, the UK-based Institute for Polish-Jewish Studies, the Lithuanian commission said.

2021 will mark the 100th anniversary of Marija Birutė Alseikaitė-Gimbutienė (aka Marija Gimbutas, 1921-1994), the Lithuanian archeologist, anthropologist and archeomythology pioneer. The inclusion of this anniversary was backed by Latvia, Germany and the Alumni Association of Pacific University.

In exchange, Lithuania backed the inclusions of other anniversaries into the UNESCO list.

In all, the UNESCO list of anniversaries for 2020–2021 includes people with achievements in the fields of culture, education and science from 59 countries.

Lithuanian Jewish Community Wishes Lithuania a Merry Christmas

Lithuanian Jewish Community Wishes Lithuania a Merry Christmas

We wish you a merry Christmas as the Jewish community celebrates the festival of lights, Hanukkah. May the spirit of the holidays carry on and underpin the New Year. Both holidays, Christian and Jewish, are a time for the tranquility of the home hearth and for reflecting on what has passed and what is yet to come.

Merry Christmas! We wish all health, happiness and that we all find a way to respect one another, now and in the future.

Hanukkah Begins

Hanukkah Begins

Lithuanian Jews and Jews around the world began celebrating Hanukkah, the festival of lights, December 22, lighting the first light on the menorah. The Lithuanian Jewish Community has a menorah set up on the balcony of headquarters in Vilnius.

Because the Jewish day begins at sundown, Hanukkah actually began on the evening of December 22. Members of the Community, friends and Israeli ambassador Yossi Avni-Levy attended the lighting ceremony.

LJC chairwoman Faina Kukliansky said Hanukkah is folklore as well as a religious holiday lasting eight days, symbolizing the miracle of the lamp oil which lasted eight days at the Second Temple in Jerusalem during the Maccabee uprising. She wished everyone a happy Hanukkah, and that the festival of lights would impart happiness, health and joy among all families.