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[Page 216]

A Jewish Woman and Mother (cont.)

 

Congratulations on the birth of Yehudit from Sarah Melamed, Rivka's sister

 

Varena (Lithuania). August 11, 1939

Shalom and mazeltov, dear Shmuel,

First of all, congratulations on becoming a father.

… The main thing is that Rivkale is over everything and that our family in particular, and the Jewish people in general, have increased by another soul, not a simple soul, a product of Eretz Yisrael...

I so much would like to be with you now. To kiss the lips that were created only for kisses. Please kiss little Yehudit for me.

Shalom,

Yours, Sarah

 

Rivka and Shmuel with their daughter Yehudit
Two years old 18.7.1941

 

From a diary dedicated by Rivka to her daughter Nava

Mishmar Haemek, December 16, 1947

My weety [sweet],

… You moved to a different building a short while ago, where our sweet Yehudit used to live. Our “big” daughter is already in the “Hevra” [name used in kibbutzim for a certain age group]. At Hanukah she already marched in the parade holding a torch.

You received Yehudit's cubbyhole, and both of you were very happy. On the day of the move you slept in our room… and didn't allow me to turn off the light…

You had almost fallen asleep and they suddenly began shooting from the neighboring Arab village…

A very difficult period. Riots in Eretz Yisrael. They shoot and kill innocent people.

The only crime is that we, the Jews, want to be like all other people with a homeland of our own. Let us hope that when you grow up we will be able to tell you about these events as something pertaining to history. Indeed, the United Nations decided to set up a Jewish state in part of Eretz Yisrael.

In Tel Aviv and in all the cities, moshavot and kibbutzim they danced all through that night. It was on the night of November 29-30. I have never seen such joy. People hugged and kissed each other. They sang and drove in decorated cars and danced on them.

But the next morning [November 30] the joy already ended with the blood of innocents.

Together we will overcome the difficulties.

“Those who rose up to destroy us - we will destroy…”

 

On Hanukah, December 1948, young Yehudit was killed in the attack and bombing of Kibbutz Mishmar Haemek

 

 

“Al Ha'Mishmar”[7] 18.12.1958

The tenth anniversary of the loss of my first child, Yehudit

The tenth anniversary of the bombing of Mishmar Haemek

By Rivka Shoham (Melamed)

Tears hide the light of the torches from my view, and the only thing my eyes can see are the window with the torn fluttering curtain and your white coat that remains hanging on the hanger.

If we, the bereaved mothers, could meet once without differentiating between nation, religion or country of birth, and they would let us talk about the sorrow in our hearts, I think that a deafening cry would burst forth, with the power to shock world institutions, equal to our pain and suffering.

Because we mothers want our daughters and sons; we want to raise them to love and dedication, and not to hatred and revenge. We want to raise them to honor our country and humanity, to promote science and creative, not destructive… We want them. Because that is why we gave birth to them and educated them.

Will they listen to us?

 

Rivka (kneeling) and Shmuel Shoham (Spizer) – second from the left – with their children: Nava (standing next to her father), Nili (left), and the twins Doron and Idit. Standing Shmuel's brother and his family

 

Footnote

  1. Until 1995, daily newspaper of Hashomer Hatzair and the Mapam party in Israel. Return

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