Beautiful tribute: the central bank of #Lithuania announced it will manufacture a unique coin, a tribute to the heritage of the Jewish community in the country. @LithuaniaMFA @LithuanianGovt pic.twitter.com/8KjdugyHko— Avital Leibovich (@AvitalLeibovich) November 19, 2019
The letter shin – which, according to gematria, has a numerical value of 300 - will be carved on one side of it, alongside with the acronym hei-gimel-resh-alef, indicating Ha-Gaon-Rabbi-Eliahu. A stylized Torah scroll with the number 300 will complete the decorations. On the other side, the coin will carry the design of a menorah, as well as the Hebrew year, 5780, both in numbers and in letters. Moreover, its border will feature an inscription in Hebrew and Lithuanian reading: "The year of the Vilna Gaon and the history of the Jews of Lithuania." The Vilna Gaon was born in April 1720. He was the leader of the community and one of the greatest Torah scholars of all times. As it is pointed out on the website of Yad Vashem, under his leadership, Vilna became known as the "Jerusalem of Lithuania." On the eve of the Holocaust, Lithuania and its capital were one of the most vibrant Jewish centers in the world. About 30% of Vilna's population - 30,000 people – were Jewish. Overall about 200,000 Jews lived in the country, the vast majority of whom were wiped out. According to estimation by Hebrew University demographer Sergio Della Pergola, between 2,500 and 6,500 Jews live in the country today.