A Journey of Soulful Proportions

A woman's chance encounter at the Kotel has life-altering ramifications.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Does the gender really matter? (illustrative)
Does the gender really matter? (illustrative)

This  article is one of a series of testimonies showcasing the life-saving work of Efrat.

“While going about my daily routine, I received a phone call from a good friend of mine. She told me that she had spent the day walking around Jerusalem and when she visited the Kotel (Western Wall), she overheard a lively conversation between two women. One woman had turned to her friend in an attempt to dissuade the latter from having an abortion.

“My friend knew about my work as a volunteer with the “Efrat” organization. She asked me to try and influence the woman against terminating her pregnancy. She gave me the woman’s details and phone number.

During my first conversation with Moriyah, it became evident to me that the woman was already a mother to six children, lived in a rental home, and that her husband was the sole financial provider. Moriyah’s husband was placing extreme amounts of pressure on her to terminate the pregnancy in light of the extreme financial strain they were under. He had even threatened to leave her if she would not have an abortion. Moriyah gave me her address and that night I paid her a visit, armed with a sack of sweet treats for the children and a beautiful cake that my friend had baked for her.

“The house was in utter disarray. All of the children were still awake. Knapsacks were strewn everywhere. Moriyah was crying and her husband was angry. I handed the children treats in an attempt to sweeten the air, before beginning to speak to Moriyah’s heart in an attempt to encourage her to continue on with the pregnancy. This, despite the fact that the family has long-lived in a small three-room apartment that Moriyah’s husband struggles to finance.

“I told Moriyah about the copious amounts of help that the “Efrat” organization provides in cases like hers and that until now, there has never been a case of a woman helped by the organization who later regretted having her child despite the family’s financial woes.

“I also added that I believed she was eligible for government-funded housing and that if she was interested, “Efrat’s” social worker would be in touch with her in the morning in order to counsel her on how to turn to the Housing Ministry for help. Moriyah recounted that her pregnancies and births have all been exceedingly difficult. She said that she could not bear the thought of another birth. I told her that I had taken a course in guided imagination and would be more than happy to help her relax, which would undoubtedly help her a lot. I promised to be with her during childbirth and until then, would be on-call 24 hours a day, ready to help her with anything she needed.

“I left Moriyah after encouraging her to the best of my abilities. I had no idea what she would decide to do.

“The next morning, Moriyah called me with the news that she had decided against having an abortion.

“I was in contact with Moriyah on almost a day-to-day basis throughout her pregnancy. During her eighth month of pregnancy, the family received a large, beautiful, government-funded home, which lightened their financial burden in many ways.

“A short while after the birth, Moriyah’s husband called me himself to thank me for the generous packages sent by “Efrat,” including a crib, stroller, baby bath, layette and monthly packages of diapers and wipes.

“A few months after the birth, I encountered Moriyah’s husband near my home. When he saw me, he immediately took out his cell phone and showed me a picture of baby Tal, his face beaming with glee. I asked him, ‘This is what you wanted to get rid of?’ He answered me, ‘Please never remind me of that again!’”