Simchas Torah Massacre Prompts Calls to Yad L’Achim: ‘We Understand Our Mistake – May G-d Help Us’November 09, 2023
Yad L’Achim’s hotline has been inundated with an unprecedented number of calls since the horrendous slaughter on Simchas Torah in the south of Israel.
Dozens of Jewish women living in hostile Arab villages in Yehudah and Shomron and in Israeli Arab communities are saying that the massacres have made them understand their mistake and turn to Yad L’Achim for help in escaping their situation at the earliest possible opportunity.
Waves of such calls typically come into the hotline after IDF fighting in Gaza or murderous terror attacks in Yehudah and Shomron, but never on such a scale. To meet the demand, Yad L’Achim has beefed up its hot line team, with more operators and social workers.
“The whole night I cried my heart out over what I’ve made of my life,” said one caller. “I can’t believe that I live with such a person.”
Added another: “I don’t know how I got to the point where I’m sleeping with the enemy.”
Other callers expressed similar sentiments.
They told stories of how their Arab husbands – and their husbands’ families – had rejoiced at the news of the slaughter, and expressed concern that they would be subjected to violence in this tense period, due to their status as “Yahuds.”
Other hotline calls came from Jewish women rescued via Yad L’Achim whose children are still torn between two identifies. Limor, rescued half a year ago, shared her pain in a letter to the social worker assigned to her by Yad L’Achim.
“I explain to the children, or at least try, that Palestine makes a balagan, but they get angry at the Jews,” Limor wrote. “My 16-year-old son calls out Allahu Akhbar and bows down on his knees when the sirens sound. My pain is driving me crazy. I feel as if we see one another as the enemy.
“Only last week he was visiting his Arab father in the village; every such visit tears him from me anew. I can’t stop being angry at myself for ruining the next generation with my stupidity.”
Rina, another survivor, writes: “My son’s Arab father took him to Chevron last Friday! It’s as if his father could sense what was going to happen. I’m not coping.”
But the picture isn’t entirely bleak. A number of women rescued from Arab villages sent their social workers pictures of their children putting on tefillin or tzitzis and davening for the merit of the Jewish people and IDF soldiers.
“Amid all of the pain and sorrow of these women trapped in Arab villages, these cases of Jewish children who have returned to us and become part of the Jewish people gives us the strength and hope that all of those lost Jewish children will eventually return to the Jewish people,” says one Yad L’Achim official.