Following is a very moving letter written by Eliana Nathan, who is in fact the daughter of our very own Deborah Nathan, a Bat Sherut wrote as she sat by a sleeping child in the Kellet - the emergency shelter at Bet Elazraki. Tonight is the last night of her year of Sherut Leumi. She is 20 years old and made Aliyah alone last year to do this. She has worked constantly - day and night - caring for the children who have been brought to Emunah in the most traumatic circumstances. The child she was sitting with had terrible nightmares because his drug addicted mother would leave him alone in the house at night and he would wake up terrified to find he was alone. He is 7. Here is the letter she wrote...
An open letter to my kids.
I call you my kids- although I didn’t give life to you, since August last year you’ve been in my care.
Showing me how to love unconditionally, no matter how hard the situation became. You always managed to get through it with grit, determination and a lot of laughter and tears along the way.
The way Hashem has made your life has not been easy. You came to us - taken away from your ‘normal’ and brought to a new safe place.
Tonight I sit here thinking of all the crazy times we have had - the good bad and the ugly.
I bless each one of you, everyone I have had and still have in my care, a life of happiness, healing, love and smachot.
Never forget how much you are loved and cherished here.
We do everything with all our hearts and all for the life you deserve.
There have been times when we’ve had to discipline you or had to be tough, but it is all done with love in our hearts and for you. The growing you - that is yet to see the big picture.
Your parents - the people who are supposed to protect you most. They are supposed to take away bad dreams and protect you always from harm. For you this was not the case - I along with Leah, Arielle, Liraz and Rivka became your surrogate mothers. Taking on every responsibility a mother and father should have, to protect, love and help you thrive.
Now our time is ending together and we will both be moving on.
I sit here listening to the sound of your heart beat - knowing you will forever be in my thoughts and my heart.
So my beautiful beloved child- you deserve the world. Don’t forget that times will be tough but that happens in life and you’ve already endured many harsh things at your young age - most people B’H won’t ever understand or go through half the things you’ve been through. You deserve a medal for your strength.
So now I sit here listening to you sleep and will always have you in my heart forever - longing to see how you strive and thrive and always sending you love and Brachot.
Eliana Nathan, Sherut Leumi Bet Elazraki 2017/18