By COLlive reporter
Photos by Mark Neyman/GPO and David Karsenty
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin warmly welcomed the evacuated children of the Chabad Shluchim in Nepal to his residence in Jerusalem on Wednesday.
Shmuel, Rivky and Yitzchak Lifshitz, ages 4-6, came to Israel while their parents Rabbi Chezki and Chani Lifshitz stayed in Nepal to assist in the search and rescue efforts.
“I’m so happy you came to visit me,” the president told the children and greeted the children with chocolates.
The President was able to call their parents in Nepal who reassured their children, saying “We are all well, and pleased to be able to reach out a helping hand to those in need. This is our mission.”
The President handed the phone to their daughter who asked her parents when they were coming home. Her mother replied, “Soon, there are still many people we need to help. We miss you very much, and we’ll see you soon.”
President Rivlin spoke to the parents as well and thanked them, saying “What you do for the world and the people in Nepal is extraordinary,” and added “The way in which you open your home and give others a sense of home in times of need is tremendous.”
He also reassured them that their children are in good hands, saying “you open your home to all the world and we open our home to your children here in Israel. We’ll watch over them and show our gratitude through them, while you continue to act on your beliefs as true public servants.”
More than 4,800 people dead and more than 9,200 injured in the devastating earthquake that struck the Himalayan nation on Saturday, CNN reported. Eight million were affected across Nepal.
On Wednesday, 9:00pm local time, Rabbi Lifshitz reported that he returned from a Chabad rescue mission in Dhunche of the Bagmati Zone in Nepal, at an altitude of 2,030 meters.
“With Hashem’s help we succeeded in rescuing 25 friends,” he said about airlifting Israeli backpackers that were stranded there since the 7.8-magnitude quake hit the region.
“They are exhausted after long days during which they were trapped in the wild,” the rabbi added. “We brought them all to the Chabad House. The guys here welcomed them with great excitement. They are now after a warm meal and received equipment and warm clothes. They are going to spend the night with us.”
With a fully functional kitchen in the Tamal area of Kathmandu, Chabad has been preparing fresh food for distribution for Nepalese survivors that are in desperate need of food and water.