Israel received a unique gift from an unlikely source for its 70th birthday.
Called “Our Kiss to Israel,” a song of repentance for the sins of the church against Israel and the Jewish people was written and performed in Israel last month by Laralyn RiverWind along with her husband Joseph.
Chief Joseph RiverWind and Laralyn RiverWind, N.D., the tribal spokesperson of the Northern Arawak Tribal Nation, spoke with KNI about the launch of this song and a tour they recently led to Israel.
Though the lyrics had been brewing in Laralyn’s heart for years, suddenly the time to record and release the song came this year — unintentionally coinciding with Israel’s 70th year as a nation.
“The song was conceived out of the revelation of understanding that came when I began to study the feasts of the Lord and realized some of the history of the church, the things that weren’t taught to me in Sunday school or behind the pulpit,” Laralyn told KNI. “The more I began to learn about church history and where pagan things infiltrated church doctrine I began to realize we have really been destructive to the Jewish people.”
Laralyn said that, while most people aren’t personally guilty of these atrocities, she wrote this on behalf of what is classically known as the church.
“The enemy came in and deceived people into viewing the Jews as enemies or believing that the church replaced the Jewish people,” she said. “I realized that supposed Christians have led massacres against the Jewish people. It is heart breaking to me that Yeshua, in the minds of the Jewish people, is associated with genocide, and that is inexcusable.”
“They need to hear, ‘I’m sorry.’ They deserve to hear it,” she said. “It is debriding ancient and fresh wounds. Surgery is not a comfortable process but it is needed for healing.”
The song had been marinating in her spirit for the last 10 years, she said, but it came together in one day and, coincidentally, was recorded on Purim this year.
“This apology is too little too late so we extend our hand in friendship Israel,” the lyrics read. “We’re sending you a windblown kiss, Israel, carried on the wind of Ruach HaKodesh.”
The RiverWinds performed the song for Holocaust survivors at a luncheon and then at the Crystal Music Concert in Haifa on May 12. Volunteers distributed white roses during the song as Joseph read out a list of offenses to be forgiven.
“There were a lot of tears,” Laralyn said. “Some of the things we’ve been hearing repeatedly are, ‘You touched my heart,’ and ‘I feel the love from you.’”
A teenage boy told the RiverWinds after the performance he had recently asked his teacher if anyone has ever apologized for Holocaust. She told him no.
“He was trying to hold back the tears as he said, ‘Thank you! You changed my heart and my mind,’” Laralyn said he told them.
The song is accompanied by an online petition of repentance which is addressed to key government leaders.
“Under deep conviction for our sins and sorrow over the sins of our forefathers, we, The Believers in Yeshua (Jesus) come to Creator and to you, the Jewish people. Our hearts are heavy with grief over the pain and loss we and our ancestors have caused; we earnestly ask forgiveness from Creator and from you for our sins and the sins of the past,” the petition reads.
It then goes on to list atrocities committed in the name of Christianity against the Jewish people from the time of Constantine. It also lists spiritual sins such as replacement theology and even envy.
“Our heart is that of Ruth’s: ‘Your Elohim is my Elohim. Your people are my people… Only death will come between us,’” signatories of the petition avow.
Laralyn said that as Native Americans who are also believers they are able to relate to questions posed by Holocaust survivors such as, how can you be a believer when Christians did this to your people?
“We tell them that those people who did that knew Jesus in their heads but they didn’t know Yeshua in their hearts,” she said.
Meanwhile, the RiverWinds are combating rising anti-Semitic and anti-Israel propaganda among First Nations people.
“We are doing everything we can to counter that, that’s why we brought a tour to Israel,” Joseph explained. “We saw transformation in the lives and mindsets of the people on the tour.”
Due to the success of this tour the RiverWInds already have two scheduled for next year: one in the spring focusing on biblical herbs of the holy land — Laralyn’s area of expertise — and another during Sukkot.
Meanwhile the RiverWinds are working on spreading the petition and are hoping for 6 million signatures, one for each soul that perished in the Holocaust. They stress that the petition isn’t meant be political.
“Please sign the petition. This is your expression of love to Israel,” she said.
She also invites believers to use this song as their own.
“I don’t want this song to be from me and Joseph to Israel. This is a gift for the church to give its heartfelt repentance to Israel,” she said. “It is from believers in Yeshua to Israel and the Jewish people worldwide.”
Congregations can “sing this song in a video and post it somewhere. Take the song, singalong, do a dance, whatever and post it.”
To hear and download the song: https://www.ourkisstoisrael.com
The RiverWind’s organization: https://www.firekeepersinternational.org/