Shamah and Yaish Sharabi

When Shulamit was seven months old, she became ill, and my grandmother and grandfather took her to the Rambam Hospital in Haifa for a check-up. The child was hospitalized and remained in the hospital for about a week, and during that time her parents rode on a bus every day to see her—one day the mother, and the next day the father. After about a week in the hospital, the girl recovered—she once again was smiling and eating. This was the day when my grandfather, Shulamit’s dad, went to visit her and he was given the good news that he should come the following day with a bag in order to take home the child because she was being released. He got an official discharge letter and went back home. The following day he arrived with her belongings in order to take little Shulamit and to bring her home. He was then told to return home because the child had died. He asked, did not understand. “The child died.” He asked to see her to say goodbye. They told him it was not possible. He asked to bury her. They told him to return the following day. He returned the next day, and he was told that they had already buried her. My grandfather and grandmother did not suspect anything was wrong, but 18 years later, they received an army conscription letter for Shulamit Sharabi. Only then did the sad, dark reality sink in. Shulamit’s name does not appear in the lists of any cemetery in Haifa. No cemetery (for children or adults) had buried a baby by the name of Shulamit Sharabi.

Shirley Shasha