Presenting a Restoration Ring to a Holocaust Survivor (June, 2017)
As part of a two-week tour to Israel with the organization HaYovel, a group of 30 people, including Israel365’s Rabbi Tuly Weisz and Donna Jollay, joined Dean Bye, Founder of Return Ministries, at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum as he presented one special Holocaust Survivor, Reena Quint, with her very own “Restoration Ring”. The participants also merited to hear Reena’s story and words of hope as she inspired the group to focus on the future and not to dwell on the horrors of the past.
The concept of the restoration ring initially began with Bye who had imagined that people would donate old jewelry they no longer wanted nor needed, or even old trinkets which were broken or out of fashion. But the response was much different than Bye could have expected.
“The first night we were shocked when we witnessed people giving their most precious objects: heirlooms, many husbands and wives giving their wedding bands from off their fingers saying they wanted to stand with the covenant of God of Abraham,” Bye told Breaking Israel News.
Each piece of jewelry was a personal gift with a unique and personal story of Christian love for the Jewish people. At the end of the tour, the value of the donated gold and silver was an astonishing $2 million.
Rather than turn the precious metals into cash, Bye’s ministry used the donated gold and silver to create what they called ‘Restoration Rings.’ Intended as gifts to Jews in Israel, the rings were engraved with a Hebrew verse from Jeremiah:
For, lo, the days come, saith Hashem, that I will turn the captivity of My people Yisrael and Yehudah, saith Hashem; and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it. Jeremiah 30:3
“In addition to the horrors of the mass murders, the Holocaust was the greatest robbery in history,” Bye said, referring to the Nazi’s actions of forcibly removing owners from their possessions. In Birkenau, a subcamp of the infamous Auschwitz concentration camp, the Nazis established a group of barracks referred to as ‘Kanada’, named for the country that, at the time, symbolized vast wealth and bounty. All of the belongings and precious items seized from the new arrivals were taken to those barracks to be sorted before shipping to Germany.
The gift touched the hearts of the survivors by bringing a modicum of healing to a common Holocaust trauma: being violently stripped of their jewelry and belongings by Nazis.
To read more about Dean Bye and the restoration rings project, click here.
On November 9-10, 1938, wild violence against the Jewish people broke out throughout Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia and the Sudetenland. There are many historians who cite these dates, called Kristallnacht (the “Night of Broken Glass”), as the start of one of the world’s darkest times, the Holocaust.
Thousands of Jewish homes and businesses were destroyed through the shattering of windows and the burning of buildings. Thus began unimaginable crimes against humanity which took the lives of 6 million Jews. Only 3 million European Jews survived, many of whom fought valiantly after WWII to immigrate to the Holy Land.
Today, there are approximately 200,000 Holocaust survivors living in Israel of which 60,000 live below the poverty line. This means that they cannot afford proper housing, basic food, medical care or winter heating. In addition, loneliness is rampant as many of the survivors did not merit to have children and their own families were destroyed during the Holocaust.
As we reflect on the horrors of Kristallnacht and the Holocaust, Israel365, along with Breaking Israel News, is actively working to ease the burden of those who survived this tragedy only to find that their suffering is continuing into their old age.
Israel365, with your generous help, will give support to Holocaust survivors living in Israel. This is an immediate campaign as it is estimated that each passing day nearly 40 survivors die. We must let survivors know that they are remembered and cared for.
Your donation will give physical and moral support to those who need it most.