Rick Wienecke was living in his hometown of Toronto, Canada, searching for God. He came across a historical novel called “Exodus” by Leon Uris, which introduced him to the topic of the Holocaust and also helped him come to the conclusion that God was deeply interested and involved in the narrative of the Jewish People. With a lot of struggle he decided to spend six months volunteering on Kibbutz Ramat HaKovesh, near the city of Kefar Sava in central Israel.
The six month stay on the kibbutz ended up not being long enough, so Rick stayed a little longer. And then he stayed a little longer. Eventually, he would remain on the kibbutz for seven years.
During those seven years, Rick became a Believer in Jesus, attained Israeli citizenship, served a tour of duty in the IDF, married his wife Dafna (who would become the mother of his two sons) and began to create sculptors. He pursued this passion and it eventually became his life’s work.
Several of his sculptors are on display in Israel and around the world, with perhaps his most famous work, the Fountain of Tears, being placed just outside the gates of the infamous Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau, with another example of it also being on display in Arad, the southern Israeli city where Rick and Dafna have made their permanent home in Israel.
The Fountain of Tears is a “Sculptured dialogue of suffering between the Holocaust and the Crucifixion,” Rick says, pointing to its different elements which represent the progressive stages of both the Holocaust and the crucifixion.
Dafna Wienecke spoke about the sculpture with Kehila News Israel, explaining that “it began as an encounter with the Lord at a conference in 2000, called PayBack.”
“God encountered Rick there with many tears and the number 6 Million,” she continued. “Rick knew what this meant – the Holocaust! Rick did not want to go there. He knew that the subject was only filled with darkness and questions. He pushed it away for at least a year, but the Lord continued to interact with him until he began working on the sculpture in 2001 with the Lord. “
The sculpture was completed in 2008.
She added that although the sculpture is meant primarily as a message to Israelis, “we have seen that many gentile believers are deeply touched.” Perhaps this is because, as Dafna continued, it is meant to be “a living intercession. It provides a look at church history, continues to memorialize Holocaust and its history, revelation to who Jesus – Yeshua is and His relationship to the Jewish people.”
“People who see it are often stunned and feel speechless as there is a lot of information to process, however they recommend it to others as there is a sense of revelation to aspects they were not aware of before.”
Watch a brief overview below.