A Purim Celebration with Holocaust Survivors
After interviewing Israel Roytman and hearing about his work with Holocaust Survivors, he invited me to come to a Purim celebration with the Survivors that he cares for in Jerusalem. I was thrilled! I have had very few experiences with this group of people but my heart leaps at the opportunity to be with them and hear their stories.
On the day of the celebration, I was late due to difficulties in finding parking in downtown Jerusalem. I figured it shouldn’t be a problem; perhaps I would just slip in the back door (if there was a back door) and joyfully observe from a hidden spot in the back of the room. I followed directions to the location, climbed the stairs to the entrance, and carefully opened the door. The moment I was in view, the whole room lit up as if it was my surprise birthday party. An elderly man came straight away to take my arm and escort me to my seat while Israel introduced me on the microphone to those present in the room.
I was seated and handed a gift basket they had put together of wine and chocolates not for Purim, but for International Women’s Day. I was still in shock by the grand welcome when Israel invited me to greet everyone on the mic. Still in a daze, I shared greetings from CBN Israel and spoke of our love and prayers for them. I returned to my seat and exchanged greetings with those at my table. I was surprised to see several people that I knew and loved in the room. I felt so welcomed by the Survivors and by everyone present. It was really something to see the life and joy on each person’s face.
The formalities were over, it was time to celebrate! Israel and a few of the Holocaust Survivors gathered around the mic and began to sing songs together to their hearts content in Hebrew or Russian. We danced the Hora (a Jewish folk dance step), we sang and sang and sang some more. We ate, we drank and we laughed. It was truly a memorable experience.One of the sayings that sums up nearly every Jewish holiday is this:
“They (Israel’s enemies) tried to kill us, they failed, let’s eat!”
To see Holocaust Survivors singing and dancing, eating and drinking and living to a good old age gives us a very strong message. No matter what Israel’s enemies have tried to do to destroy this people and their God, His word of truth still stands. There will always be a remnant. The people of Israel and their God lives!
If you wish to contribute towards giving food vouchers to Holocaust Survivors in Israel, please do so here.
God bless you!