Makuya Pilgrims Visit the Books of Honor Hall Every Year.
(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
Members of the 65th annual Japanese Makuya pilgrimage visits the Hall of the Books of Honor at the KKL-JNF head offices in Jerusalem.
In Japan, the cherry blossoms that appear at the end of winter symbolize renewal and hope. The Makuya members’ annual visit to Israel, which takes place at exactly the same time, is a symbol of joie de vivre and brotherhood. It is impossible not to fall in love with these warmhearted and smiling people who have linked their destiny with the spirit of the Bible and with the fate of the nation that has returned to the land of the Bible
Makuya, which means “tabernacle,” is a Japanese religious movement founded in 1948 by Professor Abraham Ikoro Teshima. Its members maintain close relations with the KKL-JNF, and there is a long-standing tradition of welcoming the pilgrims in KKL-JNF’s head office. And indeed, on Sunday, March 6th, 2016, the seventy or so members of the 65th annual delegation filled the plaza in front of Israel’s national institutions complex in Jerusalem.
The women dressed in colorful traditional costume and the men in blue vests adorned with the Star of David broke into song: Hevenu Shalom Aleichem, David Melech Israel and Od Avinu Hai.
KKL-JNF World Chairman Danny Atar welcomed the visitors warmly: “I’m glad that everyone in the building can hear your hearty singing. I’m well acquainted with the Makuya’s welcome activities: you bring a lot of joy into our hearts. We all embrace you lovingly, and I hope that our joint activities will continue for many years to come.”
After the speeches of welcome, the pilgrims sampled the local fruit and entered the hall of the KKL-JNF Golden Books
. Each one of these giant volumes is simultaneously both a work of art and a historical document of inestimable importance: they record the names of donors who wish to pay tribute to their loved ones and participate in KKL-JNF’s national effort to develop the country. The first volume contains 10,000 tributes of this kind. The first tribute was dedicated by KKL-JNF’s first Chairman Yona Kremenetzky to Hermann Schapira, who first came up with the idea of a national fund, but died before he could see his dream come to fruition.
The volume that records the tribute to the memory of Professor Ikoro Teshima aroused special excitement. It reads: “An intellectual and a humanist, the founder and head of the Zionist Makuya Movement in Japan, and a true friend of the Jewish People and the State of Israel.”
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