While every Bris Milah is emotional, the one held recently in the Old City of Yerushalayim was particularly poignant. Behind the event is the story of Tzipora (a pseudonym), a young Jewish woman from a Paris suburb who escaped by the skin of her teeth from a cruel, abusive Muslim partner.
Tzipora, in an advanced stage of pregnancy, had to get out of France quickly with her infant son because her mate was threatening to kill her. "If you give the baby a bris, like you did with his older brother, I will kill you," he screamed at her when she raised the subject.
Tzipora didn't respond, but two days later she was on an El Al flight to Tel Aviv, with her mother and infant son sitting at her side. They took few possessions as they left France forever.
Immediately on her arrival in Israel, Tzipora contacted Yad L'Achim, an organization she remembered from a talk one of its representatives had delivered to her Jewish high school. The organization's French department met with her and settled her in a secret safe house, together with her mother and infant son.
Just one week after landing in Israel Tzipora gave birth to her second son. As she hadn't had a chance to take out Israeli citizenship or get health insurance, Yad L'Achim covered her hospital bill and medical expenses. Its dedicated staffers put together a large package of clothing, diapers and cosmetics for baby and mother.
"Tzipora was profoundly moved by her experience of reconnecting with the Jewish people and asked that we arrange a Bris Milah for her son in a hall near the Kosel, with a minyan of Yad L'Achim activists and local avreichim," related Mrs. Karen Barda, head of the organization's French department.
"The tears that poured down Tzipora's cheeks said it all. They told the story of a another Jewish woman that we succeeded in reconnecting to the people and G-d of Israel, together with her young children."