An unlikely harpist, this Israeli believer is living a ministry dream that seemed impossible...

Story & photo by Rebekah Kolber, Staff Journalist; The Messianic Times - July/August 2005

Twelve-year-old Rena Glaser was lying in bed at Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital when she first met Elisheva Margolis, a Jewish believer who ministers to the sick and injured - particularly those who have been hurt in terror attacks - using music and prayer. Glaser, who was being treated for a secondary infection after chemotherapy treatment after cancer, remembers that Margolis popped into her room with a big smile and offered to play music for her. "I had never heard a harp before or seen one up close so I was like, sure, play it," she remembers. After playing a few songs Margolis let Glaser try out the harp, then prayed for her to have peace and healing, before moving on to the next room. "It made me really happy that Elisheva came to see us because when you're sick all the time kids are scared to hang out with you. They don't want to visit the hospital because they think you'll give them cancer. And being in the hospital all the time is boring. It's fun to get a visit and I really like the harp music now," Glaser said.

For two years, Margolis has been visiting hospitals throughout the Jerusalem metropolitan area, sharing music and the love of Yeshua. Margolis, who made aliyah from California in 1997, felt the Lord prompting her to minister to others through harp music for years before her ministry became a reality. "Music from the harp helps people to have a calm spirit and it helps change the spirit, the way David did with Saul," says Margolis. "For years I had a burden to minister in this way to those in the hospital and to people with difficulties such as autism."

In 2002 Margolis found an inexpensive child-sized toy harp and began to practice on it, trusting that one day the Lord would provide her with a real harp. "I asked the Lord to bring a harp to me and I had a dream that one day in fact I would receive a harp and be playing a harp to minister to those in pain. I didn't know how that would be possible but I was sure the Lord was speaking to me." That same year, Messianic Connie Buck purchased a Davidic harp from Rick and Mary Woods of Jubilee Harps, Inc., in Evansville, IN. Although Buck did not need the harp she felt called to purchase one. Together, the three prayed for an appointed person to receive the harp when Buck visited Israel several months later for an international Christian gathering. Shortly after arriving in Israel, Buck said the Lord spoke to her again about the harp. "I took the harp to a room where we had prayer and I was reading in the Psalms concerning the importance of playing the harp, especially on Shabbat. I had such a joy playing the harp for the Lord, even though I am not a musician, that I wanted to leave it in our prayer room so that others could play it for the Lord as well," she said.

The next day Buck was standing in the hallway of her hotel when friends returned the harp to her. At that moment, Margolis happened to walk by looking for another hotel guest. She noticed the harp and struck up a conversation with Buck, who began to wonder if this was the person the Lord wanted her to leave her harp with. When Buck heard that Margolis was on her way to minister to terrorism survivors she decided then and there to give her the harp. The next day she too was on her way to Hadassah hospital to minister in the children's ward. "Bringing the harp to the hospital was a way of bringing comfort just as Isaiah's words said 'Comfort ye my people.' It was a great honor, a great privilege to be the bearer of comfort one beautiful day in Jerusalem."

In the three years since, Margolis has performed for thousands of patients. She plays for paralyzed children, cancer patients, injured soldiers, and terror victims. Margolis also uses the harp at healing prayer services for believers. Those she ministers to are just as moved by the music as by the story of how she came to play the harp, says Margolis, "Sometimes I take the harp onto the streets of Jerusalem and I just play and praise the Lord and worship Him. When people ask I tell them about how I got this harp from a Gentile as a gift from her and an answer to prayer from the Lord. I tell them that as a Levite I feel so honored and special to have this blessing because it came from God." People are amazed that a Christian tourist would just give away such an expensive gift, says Margolis; it touches them because it makes them realize how much Gentile believers love the Jewish people. "When I tell the story they can't believe it at first and then they do believe it and they wonder what it is that makes Christians love them so much. I tell them it is Yeshua the Messiah because He is both their Messiah and our Messiah."

Without the Lord's provision in Connie Buck's gift, Margolis says she never would have had the resources to start her musical ministry. Harps can easily retail at several thousand dollars, well beyond the reach of the average music ministry. When Rick and Mary Woods of Jubilee Harps finally met Margolis at the Messiah 2003 conference they immediately recognized who she was from Buck's story and decided to give her a harp case, amplifier, tuner and music books for her ministry. "The Lord's working through Elisheva and we wanted to support that," said Mary Woods. "The Lord is touching people through her."

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