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We got over Pharaoh, we’ll get through this, too

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To show you the kind of work Anat Gopstein does to rehabilitate girls escaping from Arab men who abuse them (while her husband Benzi and his volunteers rescue them), I’m posting a story of one of the rescued girls that she related on the Gilui Da’at site (she posts fairly regularly there). (Fortunately this story has a happy ending!)

Years ago, she left the village. She’s raising her kids in the big city as a single mother, with great dedication, works hard to honorably support her kids and heroically copes with multiple difficulties. Her family is not in touch with her since she married an Arab and converted to Islam. Even when she left him and returned to Judaism, her family was angry at her and was unwilling to accept her. Her children do not know their grandfather and grandmother. There is a total disconnect between them. Over the years, we tried to be there for her. We gave her emotional and financial support, and we are in close touch. “You’re my family”, she says.

When I called her to check how she’s managing during this difficult time, how the corona craziness is affecting her, she sounded quite calm. “I’m used to being in isolation”, she laughs, “I have nowhere to go from work to home, and there’s no money for shopping.

“My family gave up on us a long time ago”, she says. “I’ve been living in uncertainty all my life. I don’t know what will be tomorrow, and I’m trying to manage in the present. At least now, I’m like everybody else.” I told her that I hope we’ll manage to help her for the coming Pesach, like in previous years, and that she should try to get some help from another charity near where she lives. She answered that everyone’s financial situation is shaky, and at least in this economic war, she’s not alone, “just let us be healthy and I’ll be able to raise my kids in joy.”

It’s during difficult moments like these that we learn to value what we have and the things that are most important. I am full of admiration for her ability to manage and maneuver during this so complicated time. She works from home however much she can, and makes great efforts to manage. She made an important move in her life, where she learned to recognize her strengths and resources and to cope with difficult situations.

Her ongoing treatment she’s been undergoing, and her seriousness towards us is her emotional resilience, and she has adapted to change and copes well with the new situation.

“I already left Egypt when I left the village”, she says. “I went through the 10 plagues and saw the miracles. We got over Pharaoh, we’ll get through this, too.”


translation: Babara Sandra Ginsberg