A few days before the recent IDF military campaign in Jenin, a different type of “operation” was launched by Yad L’achim to rescue two Jewish children who were kidnapped by their Arab father.
By Michael Boim
“Where are you,” she asked in a panic.
M. had sent her two children with their Arab father to go to the bathroom, and was now on the phone with him demanding to know what had happened to them.
“We’re on our way to Jenin,” the father laughed.
M’s difficulties began from her early youth, when she was removed from her severely dysfunctional home and sent to a series of boarding schools. As a teenager she found someone who promised to fill all of her needs, and decided to marry him. After the birth of their sons he moved her to his parents’ home in Jenin. At first, he would return for regular visits, but after a while, he stopped coming, leaving her to cope on her own in a hostile Arab city.
At one point, a friend told her about Yad L’Achim. She secretly reached out to the rescue organization and was provided with a safe haven.
Meanwhile, the father kept trying to retrieve his children, without success. A few days before the recent military campaign in Jenin, he called with a pretext for why she should meet him with the children at a predetermined spot. He took advantage of the situation and ran off with the children.
The emotionally overwrought mother called Yad L’Achim, which quickly contacted the police, army and even the Palestinian police.
Israeli security forces launched a manhunt, including roadblocks. At the same time, Yad L’Achim turned to the general public asking people to recite Tehillim for the wellbeing of the children and their safe return to their mother.
After many nerve-wracking hours, the children were returned to their mother. The family is now living in a safe house and the children are attending a summer camp run by Yad L’Achim.
A few days ago, the woman began a “return to Judaism” process, having married an Arab and converted to Islam. In a hearing at the Rabbinate in Yerushalayim, she accepted upon herself the ol malchus Shamayim and proclaimed that she had chosen the path of Judaism. She called out “Shema Yisrael” with great concentration, in a sincere display of faith that moved everyone in the room.
“This was a complicated case,” Yad L’Achim said in a statement. “We stood by her throughout her journey, on many levels. We provided emotional support as well as financial assistance, including covering court costs so that she could get legal custody of her children. We arranged for a secret residence and for all her family’s needs. The children are now in a special camp for children of mothers rescued from Arab villages and we are hopeful that we will soon be able to announce that they have been integrated into true Jewish education.
“Especially in these days of a military operation in Jenin, we feel the importance of our mission in taking Jewish women out of Arab villages and bringing them back to Judaism.”
Photo: The mother files a “Return to Judaism” appeal at the Yerushalayim Rabbinical Court.