A young child finds a way to express his gratitude. The social worker holds the child's gift of love
Everything was planned down to the last detail. The rescue was scheduled and every member of the Yad L'Achim team knew his role. R. had prepared a mental list of what she would take with her and when she would pack so that her Arab husband wouldn't become suspicious. The emotions were riding high.
But one telephone call threw a monkey wrench into the plans. "He heard me speaking on the phone," the panicked woman whispered to a Yad L'Achim social worker who was in touch with her. "He doesn't know who I was talking to, but he suspects something, and pummeled me with his fists. He is threatening to kill me. Please get me out of here now!"
A new plan was hastily drawn up and a few hours later, R. and her young son were in a safe house, having left behind two years of daily violence and deprivation.
Anyone seeing her would have a hard time believing that this young, fragile-looking woman had experienced such a tragic life. It began two years ago, when she met a man calling himself Amir and presenting himself as a Jew from a town up north. He was good to her, and lovingly accepted her son from a previous marriage.
Only after she moved in with him did he show her his ID card, and it wasn't the blue one of an Israeli resident. His real name was Jamal Abu Ahmed and he was in Israel illegally.
At that moment, her life turned upside down. It became a nightmare, with punches and blows every day from her once-adoring husband. Why? Because. No reason. Today she understands that such men don't need a reason to be violent and that there is no justification for violence toward another human being. But then she was so alone, so helpless. Her parents had cut off ties with her after learning that her husband was an Arab.
He would lock her in the house, take her cell phone away and not allow her any contact with the outside world. He provided food for her and her young son, but only sometimes.
One night, he stormed out of the house and left his cell phone behind. R. used it to contact Yad L'Achim's hotline. She had received the number from a woman who approached her on the street after seeing her going around with Amir-turned-Jamal and gave her a small card with the number.
"You should have it on you in time of need," the woman whispered to her. The time had come.
The woman who answered the hotline was the first kind voice she'd heard in a long time. "From this moment," the operator assured her, "you are no longer alone."
Within a very short time, she had been brought with her son to a safe house in Israel.
During a conversation with a Yad L'Achim social worker, R.'s son sat by the side playing with two toy figures he had brought with him in the escape. At one point, he turned to the social worker and asked, "Do you have a son at home?"
"Yes," she answered.
"So give him a gift from me," he said, reaching out with one of his precious toys.
"Are you sure?" she asked. "It's worth it for you to keep them. You love them, right?
"Now I love you too and I want to give this to your child," he responded, bringing tears to the social worker's eyes.
Now he and his mother are safe, living in a home that is saturated with warmth and love. What concerns her the most, even now, just a few days after her dramatic rescue, is how she can help other girls learn from her bitter mistake and prevent similar tragedies.