December 17th, 2017 – The Hanukkah celebration is coming to a close. This week we had an opportunity to light up the day for 12 Holocaust Survivors.
A second Shalom House gathered in Poriyah Illit, a sweet little village in the Galilee, overlooking the Kinneret and the city of Tiberias. We had the opportunity to spend some quality time with the lovely survivors and war veterans of Tiberias, who came to the Shalom House for their first time.
As the Survivors arrived in the beautiful sunshine weather They were welcomed by a group of friends from Poriyah Illit who joined forces to serve and minister to these dear guests. The event was coordinated by the Northern representatives of Helping Hand Coalition for Israel (עמותת יד לעזרה ישראל) (Magi G. Rosinger and Gilad Rosinger) and was wonderfully hosted by the Klein family (Arni Klein & Yonit Klein) who opened their “Galilee home”. Local friends from Poriyah and Tiberias came to serve, along with the Winkler family, a German family currently volunteering with Helping Hand Coalition.
The Holocaust survivors were rejoicing in well-known traditional songs played on piano, saxophone, violin and guitar by our lovely hosts and volunteers, including the main musician Andrey Levin. The singing and dancing brought laughter and joy to all. The little children who joined their volunteer parents were delighted and danced for the Holocaust survivors and presented gifts to the elderly. What a wonderful celebration of Hanukkah and the holiday of lights!
The survivors we deeply touched by warm reception and opened up and shared life testimonies and expressed how grateful they were for this possibility to rejoice together. One of them shared how nervous he was at first when he received the invitation to come to the Shalom House. This was his first time and he was afraid of finding himself sitting in a very official, public event in a big hall…. “but this is different. It is in a home” – he explained happily, thankful and amazed by the heartfelt care for each and every individual.
This was a special moment in time as veterans and survivors of the Holocaust and young Israeli adults along with young adults of different other nations came together. This indeed raises a big hope for the future and brings forth so much healing from the past and into the present.
We watched people take responsibility for action done in the past, by Samuel from Germany (our volunteer) who said that we should NOT forget. He asked for forgiveness on behalf of his nation. Another dear friend from the UK who came to serve also asked for forgiveness for not being truthful in helping with creating a homeland for the Jewish people, on behalf of her people.
We closed with Gilad Rosinger sharing about his grandfather who was the only survivor in his family, whom he unfortunately did not have the privilege of spending much time with, and how grateful he was to spend this time with these lovely Holocaust survivors. Lots of joy and peace filled the room as the Shalom House ended, lots of love and light was shared this Holiday.