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Litvak (lit-vak). Noun. A Litvak is a Lithuanian Jew. The word almost certainly originates from the old Polish vernacular litwak, meaning, simply, a person from Lithuania. To a traditional, Yiddish-speaking Litvak, Lithuania (Líte) means the large geographical area that roughly corresponds to the boundaries of the historical Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Thus for example the artists Mark Rothko and Marc Chagall were both Litvaks. Today’s Litvak population is spread all over the world, with barely 2,000 (less than one percent of the pre-Holocaust figure) remaining within the borders of contemporary Lithuania.