Sabiha and Abraham Shaharban

I will tell you my story that I heard from my mother, bless her memory, before the Yemenite children affair exploded and we realized what in fact happened to my sister.

My sister Shoshana was born in 1960, and when she was two-and-a-half or so, my mother took her to the Hasharon hospital (we lived in a transit camp in Amishav). She had peeling skin and my mother was worried, so my sister was hospitalized for about two or three days. A telegram was sent to Tipat Halav [local infant health center] for my mother (that was how they communicated at the time). A nurse came over and told my mother to go and take Shoshana from the hospital (my mother had 6 children at the time).

The next day, my father and mother went to the hospital and a nurse came up to them and told them Shoshana had died and pointed from afar at a wrap of cotton wool, and when my mother asked what happened the nurse replied that they gave her a bath last night, a window was open, she got a cold and died. I don’t know what happened in those moments in my mother and my father’s minds, it was as if they were blinded for a few seconds. My mother was a lioness with her children, and still she never thought to ask them to show her beautiful plump Shoshana with her bright eyes and white skin. She asked my father to go over and ask that they be allowed to bury her, his reply was that they said they would bury her. My mother returned heartbroken and in tears. When my grandma asked what happened to Shoshana, she said she had died. My parents consulted a rabbi and they sat shiva for her.

That’s the story we heard from my late mother for years, until the the Yemenite children affair came out, when we finally understand what had happened to my sister Shoshana, who had simply disappeared. God works in mysterious ways, what happened to my mother and father in that moment when they did not ask to see my sister. My mother had another case when my brother Ya’akov was born and they brought him for her to nurse. She didn’t want to touch him, and when a nurse came up to her and said why won’t you nurse him, my mother told her he was not her son, and when she started screaming they brought her my brother, that was in January 1955. That was my mother, a lioness protecting her cubs.

In 2008, a few days before my mother passed away, my mother suddenly called out the name of her daughter Shoshana, my sister and I looked at each other and realized that my mother knows what happened to Shoshana -

To our surprise, about two years ago my brother started to investigate he found my sister's death certificate at Chevra Kadisha, and some plot where she is buried on the Segula cemetery. We haven’t gone there yet, next week I'm going over to the plot to see if there’s a baby buried there by the name of Shoshana Sharbahan.