Dreaming of Moshiach

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Am Israel Chai Japanese Style

No one - apart perhaps from a few Japanese who see themselves as descendants of one of the lost tribes of Israel - would think of Japan as in any sense a Jewish homeland. Yet, Japan became one of the world's only countries where Jews could find refuge from the Holocaust. The Japanese government assisted Jews and Jewish organizations, such as the National Council of Jews in Asia, providing food, shelter, and transportation. Individual Japanese offered Jewish people free medical service, gifts and food, treating them with decency and generosity.

Anne Frank's Diary of a Young Girl has been required reading for Japanese students for many years, and copies of the book can be seen in many Japanese homes. The book first appeared in Japan in 1952 and has since sold millions of copies.

The Japanese Friends of Israel is a pro-Israel group, with perhaps 10,000 members. Its headquarters, Beit Shalom (House of Peace), is located in Kyoto. The group's main ideology centers on support for Israel and includes prayers for the coming of the Messiah.




והיה השם למלך על כל הארץ, ביום ההוא יהיה השם אחד - ושמו אחד ישתבח שמו לעד לנצח נצחים בכל העולמות Blessed is His name for eternity in all worlds אין עוד מלבדו