Life by the Same Name

How one woman saved 254 lives.


Flash 90

This article is the final installment of a six-part series of testimonies from women saved by Efrat (the Committee for the Rescue of Israel's Babies) from undergoing unnecessary abortions. For Part Five see here.

"I was born more than fifty years ago,” says Miriam, one of Efrat’s longstanding volunteers."My parents came from North Africa and settled in a moshav near Jerusalem."

"The early years of the State of Israel were war-ridden and punctuated with military operations, and my father was called often to serve in the reserves. My mother was heavily pregnant and just when my father was drafted into the army, she was rushed to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem and that’s where I was born.

"My mother spoke only French and barely any Hebrew, and as she arrived at the hospital she was delighted to discover that the midwife who had been assigned to her was a French speaker. This gave her tremendous reassurance especially since my father could not be with her at the birth.

"After the birth, a very special bond was formed between the midwife and my mother, and when they suggested to my mother that she name me Hadassah, after the hospital, my mother announced that she would name me Miriam, after the midwife who delivered her.

"When I grew up, I learned about the significance of the name a child is given and how it has an effect on their entire life. I immediately saw a parallel between the name of my mother's midwife and her chosen profession. I decided that I would make my name meaningful.

"In the beginning, I went to hospitals to help in the maternity wards. When I was introduced to Efrat and its role in saving Jewish children from abortion, I decided to join it voluntarily.

"Efrat is named after the biblical name of the prophetess Miriam who was one of Hebrew midwives in Egypt, thanks to whom Moshe Rabbeinu was born. I discovered, to my amazement, that a significant percentage of volunteers at Efrat are also named Miriam and they all devote themselves to saving the lives of thousands of babies every year.

"In my notebook, I have the names of 254 children that I saved by convincing their mothers not to have an abortion. In most cases, the mothers were experiencing financial difficulties and were under pressure from their families and their environment to abort, and I promised them that Efrat would provide them with significant financial assistance in addition to the comfort and support that I would offer them throughout the pregnancy.

"Within each of us is the ability to have an impact, to say the right words at the right time, to be a good listener, to meet another’s needs. We only need to know how to channel this power for the good. I thank HaShem for giving me the opportunity to be part of Efrat the largest life-saving organization in the world."