Shalom House, Galilee

August 18th, 2018 – A Shalom House was hosted in the Galilee in Poriya Illit, a beautiful village, overlooking the Kinneret.

Ten Holocaust survivors from Tiberias were welcomed in the Galilee House by a group of Germans who have come to the Land and had a strong desire to serve and minister to the Holocaust survivors during their visit. The warm and homey atmosphere in the guesthouse, where this beautiful encounter took place, was very much appreciated by the survivors, and everybody was deeply blessed by this two and a half hours of gathering and feasting.

One of the German fellows with a passion to cook created a delicious, colorful meal that everybody enjoyed so much.

Andrey Levin, a local musician, translated into Russian. He comes to serve the survivors whenever he can with his music and his ability to translate from English or Hebrew into Russian.

Samuel Winkler and his family who are volunteering for Helping Hand Coalition for Israel (עמותת יד לעזרה ישראל) – in serving Holocaust survivors in Israel, prepared the house for the gathering along with another musically gifted couple from Germany, who play a whole variety of instruments, such as piano, violin, mandolin and guitar.

The Holocaust survivors love music and one of them, named Yacov, started to sing. He felt so free to just share some old Russian songs that he perfectly remembered. One of the ladies danced with such joy, and the clapping and rejoicing became louder and louder. One of the German couples felt encouraged through the music to present a traditional standard dance (foxtrot).

Many of the survivors said at the table that it was a real feast, a joyful time of singing, sharing hearts, dancing together with tambourine. They love doing this very much.

Another couple among the German group spoke to the survivors about their history and how they, as descendants of Nazi Germans, after a long time fell in love with Israel and the people in the Land and now see it as the greatest privilege to join in such times of meeting with the survivors and minister to them through their songs, an expression of love towards the God of Israel and His people.

Beautiful decorated gift bags for each of the survivors were handed out, along with a little meaningful handmade Torah scroll, done by a dear old lady in Germany. Those little Torah scrolls were printed inside with the Aaronic blessing in Russian language.

After taking a beautiful group picture in the yard of the Galilee Villa, the survivors enjoyed sitting in a nice comfortable garden area under the shadow of beautiful olive trees, chatting and laughing.

Going home with much gratitude, everybody is looking forward to the next Shalom house invitation!