This is a major study of the various cultures of the Litvaks, the Jews of Lithuania; in this context the notion Lithuania comprises all of modern day Lithuania, Latvia and Belarus, and chunks of Poland, Ukraine and Russia. This beautiful folio format, with thirty specially commissioned maps and charts and many photographs and facsimiles, traces the culture of the Litvaks from the prehistory of ancient Israel through to Babylonia and Europe, the first manifestations of Lithuanian Jewish culture. The plot line then diversifies to dedicate equal time to traditional Talmudic and Kabalistic culture, and to the wide range of more modern forms of Litvak culture, including Hebraism, Yiddishism, Zionism, and Diasporism. It discusses the dynamic interaction between the three languages of this civilization: Hebrew, Aramaic, and Yiddish. The final chapter presents the Last of the Mohegan Litvaks in Eastern Europe today.
Dovid Katz, Vilnius University, Lithuania