How a Wife’s Prayers for a Husband at War in Gaza Became Israeli Art

Interview with Deanna Malespin, designer of the “Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem” Dove Necklace

By Christina Cohen |
Photo: Christina Cohen

In the peaceful, green Galilee, here in northern Israel, lives a Zionist family of five. To become “Israelis” the parents made Aliyah over 20 years ago, and the three young children are sabras, born here in the Promised Land.

Rushing out the door to meet Deanna Malespin, I grab my camera and head out into a fine 30°C (~80°F) Israeli spring day.

Questions are running through my head as I drive to her home. I wonder what made Deanna create such a unique product and how she managed to do it while being a new mother, still fresh in the Land, and helping her husband run their charity.

As I walk into her house, nothing gives away the fact that she is originally a Canadian and her husband is originally from the US. From the modern look of the room, to the dark wooden furniture, to the decorations and atmosphere, everything looks and feels completely Israeli. A huge blue and white Israeli flag adorns her balcony, welcoming guests.

She makes me a cup of coffee while her one year old son plays in his high chair, and we dive into a story with which every lover of Israel can empathize.

 

Israel Today: Tell us what made you, then a new mom, new in Israel and your husband’s right hand at running a charity, go on a journey of creating, designing and producing your own piece of jewelry?

Photo: Christina Cohen

Deanna: It happened back in 2014. There was a war between Israel and Gaza; and my husband, Chaim, was called up as a reserve soldier. I found myself living in a new scenario. I was left home with our one-year-old baby and a charity to run, while Chaim was gone for a whole month, serving in a combat unit in the middle of the war action, where I knew his life was in danger every day. As his wife, I was praying for him and for the entire situation, and I knew that a lot of prayers were going out for Israel, which was very encouraging. Whenever I was able to get a hold of him, I tried to strengthen my husband with this information.

During this war, all Israeli citizens’ eyes were fixed on the Iron Dome (a system designed to intercept and destroy short-range rockets and artillery) for protection against the missiles that were launched into Israel. However, when I got to speak to Chaim, he kept saying that he could feel the prayer of all nations for Israel protecting him like a ”Prayer Dome.” In the midst of danger, fear, chaos and uncertainty, he felt God’s peace.

That month went by with plenty of heart-felt prayer, as you might be able to imagine, and then my husband Chaim got released home from serving in the war.

We had a flight booked to England for the very next day. Chaim runs the Aliyah Return Center charity that supports new immigrants and teaches nations about God’s heart for Israel, and this trip was planned in advance. It was God’s perfect timing and a great opportunity to share about Israel and the current situation with the churches we visited. It was so empowering and comforting to hear how involved they were in prayer for Israel during this entire time. The Bible teaches us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, and that was what they did.

You can tell, by the time we got home, I was so inspired! I mean, we all want peace – for us the Israelis, and for the other side as well. But, do we do something about it? Do we translate it into action? Do we pray and live Psalm 122:6? ”Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.”

Under this impression and inspiration, I was moved to create a necklace that would remind us all to pray.

Of course, you can find many “Israel-themed” necklaces, but I wanted to create one with a dove symbolizing peace, and a reference to Psalm 122:6 on the back.
My hope and purpose was that, when people wear it, they will be encouraged to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

 

Tell us about the process of creating your own first product?

Photo: Christina Cohen

Usually, when I have creative ideas that are more on the complicated side, I tuck them away for “someday.” I’m pretty busy as a wife, a mom and a personal assistant.

But not this time.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized this was something I could really pull off. Having no experience in jewelry-making, I just followed my heart. I started drawing the design, until I knew it was right. Then I remembered I knew of a small jewelry shop in Rosh Pina (Northern Israel), so I thought I’d go up there and see if they could help me.

Sure enough, they did! And the necklaces became a reality!

I sold them in England, Canada and the US, as well as to some Israeli friends.

The necklace makes a great gift, and I’m always so excited to see it on people!

 

What is it like to be a small business owner, and why should our readers buy from you, or buy Blue & White?

When you buy blue and white [Israeli-made] you make a real impact here, especially for small business owners and entrepreneurs. I know that I’m, personally, so excited for each and every purchase and new client. It literally makes my day! Since Israel is a very small country, we do need the help of supportive and caring people from abroad to help sustain the small business owners. Small business owner celebrate every client and by buying from us you help us live out the Zionist dream of return!

 

And what are your future plans in business?

Oh yes, many people have asked me if I’m going to release a new product, and my answer is… I have an order of gold-plated dove necklaces coming in soon!

And of course, many dreams and new ideas, that might come to fruition. We’ll see.

 

Click Here find out more and shop Deanna’s necklace

 

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