A fire in the hills of Jerusalem has engulfed the famous Ramat Raziel harp workshop of Micha Harari.
“It’s put us out of business,” said Harari in an exclusive interview with Arutz Sheva.
He said that everything in the workshop was burned to the ground, including their tools and the completed harps.
The fire also destroyed the medical clinic belonging to his wife, who is a doctor, including her equipment.
“This is our life’s work for the last 40 years,” he said. “We’re the people that brought back the harp after 2,000 years to Israel. We’ve been working in there and making the harps for the Temple Institute, for the Rav Ariel, for the last 35 years, and shipping our harps all over the world. It’s been destroyed. The whole workshop is just ashes now.”
Harari said that the fire came up suddenly from the valley right behind the shop which is covered in a forest. He tried to stretch the hoses from his house across the street but was not able to put out the huge fire, which he described as an “inferno.”
“In the end we just had to run out the door. I didn’t even have my wallet,” he said. “We were unable to save anything at all. Not even my wife’s harp.”
They assumed their house had also been destroyed by the flames. Miraculously, their house, which sits on an elevation high above the workshop and across the street, was alright.
However, everything else, including 20 to 30 harps custom made for customers around the world, was lost in the fire.
They haven’t had insurance for the workshop in 20 years ever since it was cancelled. The issue is that it backs onto a forest, so insurance is not possible.
There had been small fires in the past but “there was nothing that came up right behind and destroyed everything.”
“The wind just turned around. It just blasted right towards us, 20 to 30 meters tall. I fought it to the front door and then we drove right out and left. There was nothing we could do,” he said.
They need to rebuild the shop with many orders to fulfill. Their harp builders have been with them for 30 years and also need to make a livelihood.
“We’re all out of work and we need to rebuild the shop as quick as possible,” he said.
They also need to rebuild his wife’s medical clinic for her daily clients.
Harari and his neighbours have heard that the fire was arson.
“We’re trusting G-d to take care of everything else,” he said. “At least our house is here and we made it out alive. That’s the most important thing.”