A rabbinical court in Bnei Brak ruled that the planned construction of a conference center over top of a Jewish cemetery in Vilnius, Lithuania is in violation of Jewish law and disregards the cultural heritage of the site.The Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi David Lau, and leading haredi rabbi Chaim Kanievsky have also made their opposition to the development very clear. Vilnius – known in Yiddish as Vilna – is the legendary city of Yiddishkeit, once called the Jerusalem of Lithuania. The Shnipeshok cemetery purportedly houses the graves of 50,000-80,000 Jewish people who have been buried there throughout its 500 years of existence. Elijah ben Solomon Zalman – also known as the Vilna Gaon – the famous Talmudist who led opposition to the hassidic movement and whose influence is still very much felt today in Israel, is also said to have been buried there.The Jewish cemetery is a cultural heritage site protected by the Lithuanian government, meaning that in order to build upon it, they must first consider the implications of the move as well as the considerations of others.Using the law firm Hadad Roth Shenhar and Co., partner Hanoch Ehrlich filed the injunction on behalf of Rabbi Nissim Korelitz and the rabbinical court, calling for the planned development to immediately be halted and scrapped.Turto Banks, the prospective developer, which is funded by the Lithuanian government, filed a retort saying that the Bnei Brak rabbinical court does "not have jurisdiction over the matter, as rabbinical courts may only act in matters of marriage, divorce and inheritance."Save Vilna, an action group against Jewish cemetery desecration at the old cemetery in Vilnius, quoted an expert in international law who said: "There is no more powerful authority that can make that determination that the conference center development constitutes an affront to Jewish cultural heritage. The rabbinical court of Rabbi Nissim Korelitz is the equivalent of the Supreme Court in the Jewish world. If they don't have the authority to make that determination, no one does."Adding that, "Lithuanian law requires that a development on a protected site must meet specific criteria and comply with cultural heritage considerations," the source said: "The rabbinical court ruling, together with all those of all other Jewish authorities, demonstrates that the development plan does not pass the litmus test."A hearing for the court case was scheduled for October 1. Plaintiffs include hundreds of individuals who have family members buried within the old grave site, and are being represented by Advocate Modestas Sriubus and Advocate Salvija Sriubienė.