Yad L’Achim has pulled it off again. The anti-missionary and anti-assimilation organization was able, within hours of receiving word of a Jewess trapped in an Arab village with her four children, to rescue the five and find them a safe haven outside Israel.
The story began just a week ago, when a tearful man arrived in Yad L’Achim offices in Bnei Brak on Tuesday evening and asked to speak directly with the director, Rabbi Shalom Dov Lifshitz. He explained that his sister had married an Arab several years ago, but was now trapped in his village somewhere in Palestinian Authority-controlled area, prevented even from leaving her house.
Yad L’Achim has faced this situation many times in the past, and a task force was quickly set up to collect the necessary information and determine a plan of action. The one opening seemed to be that the next day, Wednesday, she had been granted special permission by her Arab husband/master to leave for a one-time, important purchase – but only with three of her children; one of them was to be left behind in the care of a local Arab woman, to ensure that she would return.
The only thing that Yad L’Achim is willing to say about the rescue effort is that “miraculously, the woman and all four of her children were rescued.” How this occurred is not being publicized, for fear of jeopardizing future rescues of this nature. “All I can say,” said Rabbi Lifshitz, “is that there were miracles of people seeing and not seeing, and things were done that should normally have aroused attention, and with G-d’s kindness, everything transpired successfully.”
The woman and her children were taken to the nearest checkpoint, and with the help and cooperation of “local elements,” they were brought into area under Israeli jurisdiction, and from there, to a secret apartment.
The first meeting between the woman and her brother was “very emotional,” Yad L’Achim sources understated. “The woman used to be religious, but then something happened, and she actually ended up registering herself as a Moslem. But one of the first places she went after the rescue was to the Western Wall… and her brother, who initiated the rescue, has now begun to put on tefillin as a result of what happened.”
The Rabbinical Court in Tel Aviv was also consulted, and after the judges quickly ascertained that the woman had returned totally to Judaism, they signed a certificate to this effect – and the woman and her young children were sent on a plane to the waiting arms of Yad L’Achim representatives in South America. “Do you think her Arab husband is sitting quietly?” Rabbi Lifshitz asked. “I can assure you that he didn’t sleep last night, looking for her, so that he can restore her to her captive, tortured status. She is now somewhere where he can’t find her.”
Asked how long she will have to remain in South America, Rabbi Lifshitz said, “This is very hard to know. It depends on many factors, and each case is different... The same is true with the children; their acclimation depends on whether they know Hebrew, if the mother told them they are Jewish, etc. Each case and each person is a world unto itself. Though we had many miracles in this case, the real story is just now beginning.”
“We must not forget all those precious Jewish souls who are still imprisoned against their will and against their conscience in various Arab villages,” Rabbi Lifshitz said. “We must use all the legitimate means at our disposal to bring them from darkness to light.”