By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz, Breaking Israel News—
Sukkoth became a time for a very special manifestation of ingathering this year, as the grandson of a Nazi soldier hosted Holocaust survivors in his personal Sukkah in the Galilee.
More than 200 Holocaust survivors made the trip to Poriya Illit near Tiberias from towns across Israel to celebrate Sukkoth, the Feast of Tabernacles, in a handmade sukkah at the home of Alexander Dietz. Under a canopy of palm leaves, the guests were treated to a feast set to the music of harps, guitarists and singers. Three of the five groups then enjoyed a boat trip on the Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee) to watch the sun set at the end of a very special day.
“It was a little bit of heaven on earth,” Alexander Dietz, one of the organizers, commented after the event.
Dietz was raised in a secular home with no religious affiliations. Now a devout Christian, Dietz has a strong belief in Jesus but, through his Bible study, he realized that this necessarily connected him to the Jews.
A German Christian, Dietz has been volunteering in Israel for over three years under the auspices of the Helping Hand Coalition. Although he engages in a wide range of volunteer activities much of his focus is on activities that bring joy to Holocaust survivors, as he is the grandson of a soldier who served in the Nazi army. This year, he saw Sukkoth as an opportunity to show his love of Israel and continue on his path of reconciliation.
Explaining his rationale for hosting the event, he cited scripture as a direct influence on himself and his wife, Cecilia. Citing the Prophet Isaiah, Dietz emphasized that it was incumbent upon all Christians to openly express their love for Israel.
Comfort, oh comfort My people, Says your God. Speak tenderly to Yerushalayim, And declare to her That her term of service is over, That her iniquity is expiated; For she has received at the hand of Hashem Double for all her sins. Isaiah 40:1-2
“We see the Holocaust in this prophecy,” Dietz said. “We want to speak good words to the people. We want to comfort their heart with this day.” Continue Reading….