Today we're sharing a video of a group of Taiwanese thermal massage therapists singing Hebrew songs on their visit to Israel last year. But it's not just a group of Asian tourists visiting...there's a story behind it, and we think that with the Internet research we've done, we've only scratched the surface.
OK, here's what we found. In Taiwan there's a "Raphael Thermo Therapy Center" named in honor of Raphael Gamzou, former head of the Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei—and de facto ambassador to Taiwan. The center is run by a healer known only as Master Lin -- and he has a loyal following of dozens of thermal therapy practitioners.
On the center's website, Ahavat Israel in Taiwan, Lin claims that his love for Israel and the Jewish people enables him to make an offer that many Jewish Israelis find hard to refuse -- and it's open only to Jewish residents of Israel.
With all expenses prepaid, Lin invites Israelis who are suffering from stress to fly to Taiwan and spend a few days in the specially equipped Raphael Thermo Therapy Center where they are given massages with a hand-held thermal device while the therapists sings Hebrew songs to them. The Center also provides a fully equipped apartment for each visitor to use while they spend time getting treatments in Taiwan.
Groups of therapists visit Israeli kibbutzim and towns. Last year they visited Jerusalem and made this video of their singing on the trip. The inclusion of a Mashiach, Mashiach song in the mix and letters on their website from Israelis who made the trip to Taiwan for treatment with promises that they will pray for the coming of the Messiah make us naturally suspicious of what's going on behind the scenes. But the absence of any overt prosyletizing leads us to give the group the benefit of the doubt and thank them for their generosity in bringing Jews in Israel relief from their physical and mental stresses while entertaining them with well-known Jewish and Israeli songs.
(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS: THE VIDEO IS NOT VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY. YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)