Sunday, December 13, 2015

Wow: After 68 Years, A Syrian Great-Grandmother Comes Home to Israel

This is a remarkable story.

Actually, one of the most beautiful things about it is how her grandson helped close the circle.

Of course, according to Jewish law, all of her children and grandchildren are Jewish. I wonder how this story will develop.

"Rachel Elkayam, the third of 10 children, was a 16-year-old girl living in the mixed Jewish-Arab city of Haifa in 1947 when her parents moved the family to Tel Aviv. Conflict between pre-state Israel and the Arab world was escalating, ahead of the following year’s declaration of Israeli independence and the full-scale war that then erupted, and the Elkayams believed they would be safer in the center of Israel than the north. But Rachel, a rebellious child, had fallen in love with one of her Arab neighbors, Fuad, and was pregnant with his child."

"She would have died in Syria, her story never known to her family in Israel, were it not for the actions of one of her grandsons. In London last year, he went to the Israeli Embassy and told a staffer that his grandmother in Syria had told him that she was actually an Israeli Jew from Haifa. And so it was that Geula Elkayam, one of Rachel’s siblings, received a phone call from London asking her if she had a sister named Rachel."