From the fields in the Sharon region to the Vatican: Prof. Dina Porat from Tel Aviv University recently surprised Pope Francis when she told him in Spanish, both born in Buenos Aires, the special story of the work of art “Jesus from the Holy Land”. The moved Pope thanked Prof. Porat from the bottom of his heart when she presented him with the piece and said it was a very special gift.
“Jesus from the land of the Holy Land” is the work of the artist Nili Shavor, a resident of Sde Warburg, who one day tripped and fell in the field while walking. When she got up, she saw that she had tripped over branches whose shape was very reminiscent of Jesus – two branches spread out like arms to the sides, a wild head and thin and long legs. Black took the branches home, cleaned them and even “braided” a wreath for Jesus’ head.
Immediately after that, Schor turned to her friend, Prof. Dina Porat, from the Department of History of the People of Israel at Tel Aviv University, who was supposed to fly a few days later to an international conference on anti-Semitism in Rome. “Neely called me and half-humorously asked me if I should meet the Pope and bring him a one-of-a-kind gift from the Holy Land.”
Prof. Porat decided to take up the challenge and turned to her longtime friend, Father Norbert Hoffman, who is the secretary of the Committee for Religious Relations with the Jews on behalf of the Vatican, who immediately jumped at the task.
“When I arrived in Rome, my friend Norbert Hoffman told us that the next day, like every Wednesday, the Pope was supposed to meet the crowd of his believers, and he arranged for us to sit in the first row, at the front of the stage,” Prof. Porat says. “It was a very moving event, thousands of people gathered in St. Peter’s Square, the Great Vatican Square, singing songs and waving flags with joy. The Pope approached the crowd and shook hands with the public. When he approached me, I handed him the gift, he was moved and asked his people to protect the work. This It was a very meaningful experience and I hope that the work “Jesus from the Holy Land” hangs today on one of the walls of the Vatican.”