Much has been written and spoken about the tragedy in Pittsburgh which killed eleven Jews who were atttending Shabbat prayer services in the Synagogue. This incident has had a sobering and horrifying effect on not only the people of the congregation and the neighborhood, but on good and caring people everywhere, throughout the United States and the world over.
Several of our girls at the Lev Lalev Girls Orphanage Home can relate to this tragedy very personally (as unfortunately so many Israelis can). Almost a decade ago, one of our girls came to the home a total wreck. She had watched her mother die in the marketplace in Sderot. A rocket fired from Gaza killed her mom immediately and she herself was wounded, and almost died. For a long time, she had dreams about the attack and woke up screaming at night. Last year she graduated from high school and today she is an assistant dorm counselor at Lev Lalev.
When she heard of this Pittsburgh tragedy, she sat down with the eleven year old girls in her charge, and shared her own personal story with them. They were surprised that she had gone through this terrible tragedy, as she seemed quite normal and adjusted to them.
While time may not heal, it does temper one’s anguish. Her journey took many twists and turns – sometimes she was very sad, especially during the holidays. But, thankfully, she continued to work on herself with a wonderful and experienced social worker who gave her strength and hope.So many people are effected by a murderous and cowardly act, and we can not know the extent of the damage that it may have on individuals and communities. Even seventy five years after the Holocaust, survivors have peculiar worries.
This is why we work so hard at the orphanage, hoping to eradicate, or at least control, the painful images that many of our girls have experienced. Our special words for the work we do is that, “We may not be able to change the world, but we do make a world of difference for each of our Israeli, orphan girls.” This is Israel charity at its highest level, replacing fear and trepidation with calmness and trust.