We had the honor of hosting the new Ambassador of Japan in Israel, His Excellency MIZUSHIMA Koichi, and the Press and Culture Attaché of Japanese Embassy, Mr. Shion Kawai in Kfar Chabad - Chabad Headquarters in Israel.
The visit was lead by Rabbi Moti Grumach, Rabbi and Director of the Jewish Community and Chabad Kyoto, and Rabbi Nissim Edery, the father of the Chief Rabbi of Japan - Rabbi Binyamin Yehezkel Edery - Director of Chabad of Tokyo בית חבד טוקיו. And Mr. Eric Amsalem, one of the founding members and supporters of Chabad Japan.
The visit began at the Chabad Headquarters in Israel - a replica of 770 in New York. Then the ambassador visited a local Yeshiva, a Jewish traditional school. From there, the delegation continued to visit a Jewish scribe, (a Rabbi who specializes in writing tefillin, mezuzahs and Torah scrolls). There, the ambassador experimented with writing Hebrew letters on parchment with ink and quill, as the Jewish scribes traditionally do.
To commemorate a decade since the tsunami disaster in 2011 in Tohoku, a special exhibition was set up describing the relief activities of Chabad of Japan - led by Rabbi Binyamin Edery, who greatly supported and assisted the survivors of Great Tohoku earthquake. The ambassador was very moved and expressed his sincere appreciation.
Finally, a traditional Japanese tea ceremony was held with a special touch of Jewish traditions in honor of the Ambassador. The tea ceremony was led by Rabbi Moti Gromach and supervised by Kozumi Sensei - Master of the Tea Ceremony.
After the tea ceremony, the ambassador asked to hear all about the activities of Chabad Japan. He was greatly impressed to hear about the extensive help toward the Japanese people and to the local Jews.
The visit ended with a deep feeling of connection between all the participants. The Ambassador expressed his heartfelt gratitude for the moving and fascinating visit, and for the ongoing assistance of Rabbi Edery during the tsunami. Photos: Meir Dahan.