Houston: Jewish texts in Christian home only items to survive flood

While conducting salvage work among the debris Hurricane Harvey left behind, Israeli rescue workers stumbled upon an extraordinary discovery.  

A 12-member team of volunteers from the Israel-based ZAKA search and rescue organization is on the ground in Houston, Texas, helping both the Jewish and Christian communities in the area devastated by Hurricane Harvey.

ZAKA, which is recognized by the United Nations as an international humanitarian volunteer organization, is known for its expertise in search, rescue and recovery in natural disasters and terror attacks around the world.

The volunteers engaged in work to assist the communities in any way needed, from clearing debris to offering assistance with food deliveries.

“As a humanitarian organization, we help all those in need, regardless of religion, race or gender,” stated ZAKA Chairman Yehuda Meshi-Zahav. He noted that some recipients of the assistance were excited by the fact the team was from the Holy Land.

As part of their humanitarian clean-up campaign, ZAKA members were sent by Pastor Becky Keenan from the Gulf Meadows Church to help clear the homes of members of her congregation.

It was almost a week after the hurricane flooded his home when Adrian, one of the victims, could finally return. “The moisture had turned the house into a swampland,” he explained to Joshua Wander, one of the ZAKA Israel volunteers.

The only items in the home miraculously untouched by the flood damage were his prized library of Jewish interlinear Hebrew/English texts and Bibles. “All my secular books were destroyed, but the pages of these books are still dry, still usable and without any mold.”

Adrian studies the texts to better understand the Jewish people and to seek “cohesion between Jewish and Christian communities.”

“We are trying to build a bridge here,” he explained.

Meshi-Zahav expressed pride in the hard physical work the volunteers are doing for everyone in need in Houston.

“Our sages tell us that God created man in his image. Not just Jews, but all men,” he said, underscoring that the Christian community in the US is very supportive of Israel and that he was pleased that ZAKA is able to bring help from the Holy Land when it is most needed.

By: World Israel News Staff