Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

18 Tammuz 5764 - July 7, 2004 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








Repairing a Broken Heart

by R. Gil

This story is fiction. Any resemblance to real people is entirely coincidental.

The wheels of the plane slid gently to a halt on the runway. Chedva felt her heart landing inside her together with them. She pressed her one-month-old daughter's tiny head tightly to her and rocked her with rhythmic motions. "Thank Hashem we're back in Israel," she murmured thankfully into the warm ear of her baby, who was enveloped in a deep sleep. "Healthy and well."

Tzippy Tzvielli spied her from afar amongst the stream of passengers who were pushing forward to the exit hall, holding tightly against her the tiny bundle wrapped in a pink woolly blanket, walking close beside her son-in-law, while a stream of tears gushed down her face. Her tender motherly heart went out to the beloved figure, almost bursting at the sight of her little granddaughter.

The sharply bright afternoon sun dazzled Chedva's green eyes. Her tears blinded her. They flowed freely, wetting the chubby little face so close to hers. Chedva was not sure whether it was only the bright sun that was causing the dampness on her face, or the heavy burden that weighed upon her heart. She felt her vision blurring, as if she was incapable of taking another step forward. For a long moment she stopped in her tracks, motionless, appearing more helpless and broken than ever . . .

With her sharp intuition, Tzippy Tzvielli immediately grasped what was happening. With shaking hands, she steered her way towards her, stretching out her hands as if in a protective gesture. Minutes later, they were in each other's arms, simultaneously breaking into uninhibited weeping.

Chedva's sobs did not cease even after they got inside the taxi that would take them home. They were both well aware of the inestimable value of tears that flow without any restraints. The immense joy they felt was mingled with an infinite sadness for the person so close to both of them who remained far behind, over the seas.


The flowered twin stroller stood tranquilly at the side of the children's room. Two pairs of chubby feet kicked their feet up and down in fine rhythm with their happy gurgling. Little hands waved upwards, trying to touch the familiar face smiling up at them. A sense of tremendous elevation swept over Tzippy Tzvielli, as always when she lingered next to the little blooming faces of her Gila and Chedva.

She was overcome by a profound sense of gratitude that she had been blessed to reach this day. She remembered only too well the old feelings of despair and terror, and the terrible vacuum that had pervaded her life before the babies came into it. Six years is a long time, not easily blanked out of the consciousness. Six years of waiting, accompanied by a tempest of disappointments, failed expectations and loneliness, leave a deep and searing imprint that cannot be easily wiped out.

The double gift she had been given filled her with a supreme joy which overflowed her whole being, while at the same time inspiring her with an awesome sense of responsibility. As a psychologist and qualified family counselor, she was fully aware of the latent challenges which twins have to face as the years go by. It was not by whim that she had decided to give them the symbolic names of Chedva and Gila.

Right from the beginning, she had aimed to nurture in each of them their own distinct identity, to treat them equally, and give both of them, and especially each one individually, the right and proper amount of attention.

Their home had been so suddenly filled with a precious multiple light, and she had hoped that this joy would continue to illuminate their house. It had never occurred to her that such obstacles would mar their path, and make the mission she had been entrusted with so very difficult to implement.


The first cracks showed up right from the start. Even from the first glance, Gila and Chedva were extremely different, so different that no specific marks of identification were needed to distinguish between them. Gila retained her plump form and fat cheeks, and Chedva her persistent slenderness. Their character traits were sharply distinct. Gila was perceived as a plaintive, demanding baby, while Chedva was easygoing, sociable and unusually well-adjusted.

Tzippy tried to block out of her mind the bothersome thoughts and view the sharp differences as being only temporary. However in such circumstances it was extremely hard, even for a woman like herself who was an expert in the field and made sure to keep abreast with the very latest psychological research on raising twins, to maintain a safe neutrality.

As the twins grew up, the differences between them became more pronounced. Chedva was universally beloved, an active toddler with a melting smile and endearing behavior, while Gila developed a fear of strangers and an acute possessiveness over her things.

At the kindergarten, Tzippy's ears rang helplessly with all the stories bursting with admiration over Chedva's clever behavior, and the halfhearted sour comments about Gila, whose way of relating to other children consisted mostly of pulling hair and wailing.

Even in school, the teachers insisted on making endless comparisons and expressing their wonder at the immense difference between the two sisters, even though the twins were in separate classes. As the years went by, Tzippy felt all her defenses crumbling and she was in danger of completely breaking down.

How could this possibly happen to me, the all-knowing psychologist? Her thoughts reeled in perplexity.

She had so badly wanted to raise them together, alongside each other in mutual companionship, each building the other up. But people kept on stubbornly putting barriers between them, drooling over Chedva's charm and personal charisma while ignoring the poor grayish shadow of Gila, complimenting the social and academic achievements of Chedva while shaking their heads over Gila.

"Perhaps I am to blame?" she would occasionally chide herself. "Maybe I myself was drawn into the general swing and showed partiality?"

Sometimes it seemed as if Chedva was claiming for herself the best portions, leaving her sister with only a few pitiful remnants. Tzippy always felt somehow that the feeling of being the underdog didn't fit Gila at all. Chedva overshadowed her, drowning her in an intense pity that pierced through her flesh. That was not how she had hoped to raise the two of them.

At times she wondered if it wouldn't be better to completely separate them and send them to separate schools far away, granting Gila vital breathing space to develop independently without the menacing shadow of her successful sister pursuing her wherever she turned.

Her mental torment grew, in the face of the cold and estranged relationship between the sisters and the gloom that enveloped it. The hurtful and contemptuous attitude of those around her was intensely painful for Gila. She only plunged deeper into depression and jealousy and developed bitter feelings of acute animosity towards her talented and popular sister. This, in turn, caused her to appear in an unflattering light, and allowed her, from the start, little space to develop and prove herself.

Even the external differences which created a sharp division between them, only threw salt on the wounds. Gila felt stout and heavy beside her light, slender sister. She was rather short but largely built, and her mouth was curled downwards in a permanent expression of bitterness. She looked like a pathetic replica of her glowing and smiling sister.

Despite all her efforts, she could never manage to rid herself of those extra calories that clung resolutely to her, due to her healthy appetite which could never be satiated. With longing eyes, she would watch Chedva make do with a small meal followed by a mouth-watering dessert rich in calories, while she was forced to follow the strict instructions of the dietitian and endure, time and time again, the weekly disappointments when she got onto the scales.

If only I were just a little bit like her, the turbulent thoughts stung her. She knew that this was all decreed from Above, and her considerate sister was not at all to blame for all the differences that had opened between them. She was aware of the efforts of her sister who suffered from pangs of conscience, to persuade her friends to give her sister some time too, and to help her out with arithmetic and grammar which she had difficulty with -- but was still unable to feel any gratitude towards her. The good-heartedness and generosity that she bestowed on her only angered her more and made her heart burn with envy.

Gila couldn't bear her total insignificance beside the adored image of her sister. Yet sometimes it seemed as if she herself were the instigator: holding on to the stubborn sense of her own ugliness, amplifying her own wretched image with a hair style that was pulled stiffly backwards, relating with apathy to her appearance, unwittingly causing the barriers between them to grow to such proportions that they were fast becoming irreparable.


When the time came for marriage, Gila needed all her mental reserves of strength to prevent her raging heart from bursting. Tzippy Tzvielli actually tried to take charge of things and give her the highest priority, but the shadchonim were most fertile and creative when it came to "the other half," and continued tendentiously to come up with suggestions that it was impossible to refuse without being seriously exposed to social judgment and its close scrutiny.

When it became clear that matters were moving to a head for Gila, no one dared to do too much checking and everyone just hurried to the mazel tov. They were in too much of a hurry as it later turned out, ignoring the significant differences between the families and the various rumors about the character of the boy, just telling themselves that everything would be fine.

Cold reality slapped them on their faces. After a year filled with bitterness and self-mortification the marriage was dissolved.

One cloudy day, Gila returned home carrying a small suitcase. Tzippy Tzvielli heard the hesitant knock and hurried to open the door. Her heart sank when she saw her Gila standing with lowered eyes and her back stooped, looking more like an aged woman than the young girl that she was. Gently, Tzippy touched her pounding forehead and held her next to her, drawn by the crushed, vacant expression in her dark, tearful eyes.

"Why?" the question gnawed at her, as the pain throbbed in her temples. What sin had her Gila committed that she was unable to find inner peace? Why did she always have to suffer so much pain? She closed the door silently, leading her daughter carefully behind her, aware that a new struggle was about to begin all over again.


The days that followed were difficult beyond endurance. Gila turned into a shadow figure. Once again she went back to living in the cycle of loneliness she knew so well, to the eternal comparisons with her successful sister, and to being an object of pity. Once again she was the luckless sister, the strange, anguished one.

In some absurd way, she held her twin responsible even for this last calamity. Had it been her, she thought, she would have developed a clearer identity and not made compromises before she had even begun her life. She would never have let herself become a human shadow.

In truth, Chedva had shown largeness of spirit. Despite the alienation and hostility her sister had displayed to her since her own engagement, she had risen above it and every other week made a point of visiting her sister, though she had by then become sour and embittered.

But the forced visits had only made the chasm between them loom larger. Chedva felt that her words were not penetrating her sister's mask of rigidity. Though she talked and talked, no response was forthcoming. At a certain point she decided to leave her alone, to let time take its course.


That morning, no warning signs were apparent of the great drama that was about to be played out. The scent of strong coffee and freshly-chopped vegetables filled the air. The rumbling sound of dishes blended with the sounds that played silently in the background. There were last-minute errands that Tzippy Tzvielli had to do before leaving for her daily routine of advising people, and attending to their problems.

It did seem to her that Gila was perhaps more troubled than usual, nervously pacing backwards and forwards from room to room. As usual, she did not involve herself in her affairs, trying not to disturb her with prying questions. All of a sudden, she sensed her presence behind her, and even before she turned around, she heard the quiet frozen voice that cut through her like a knife: "I'm leaving!"

There was a new determination in her voice that Tzippy had not heard before, and when she saw the little brown suitcase in her hand she knew that this time it was final. Gila didn't wait for questions. She drew up the tall, wooden chair next to her, sat down opposite her mother, and began speaking. With poignant openness, she shared her decision with her.

"I want to open a new, clean slate, to erase everything that has happened to me in the past and all those involved in it, and move to a different future." Her coffee had by now gone cold, but she didn't even touch it. She just continued to pour out her inner bitterness.

"This harsh decision has been playing around in my mind for a long time. I felt as if there was no other way out, that this is my only chance to retain my peace of mind and to survive. I felt that I have to disappear for a certain amount of time from your lives. I am asking you not to telephone me nor try to find out where I am staying."

There was a touch of pleading of a different kind than Tzippy had ever encountered in the huge dark eyes: "Only let me reconstruct the ruins, find my real self . . . "

"Where to?" Tzippy was a woman of strong inner resources and rich life experience, but nothing in her professional experience had prepared her for this: for a daughter to abandon her, in a forced separation, in such tragic circumstances. She longed to hold her back, to rock her as she used to do in the days when she was nursing her. But she instinctively sensed that she must not, that this time she had to let Gila take the reins and run her own life.

"Don't worry about me." The barest touch of a smile appeared on Gila's tight lips. "I have a job on a religious settlement as a housemother for children. I want to dedicate my life to giving to others, so that I can build others and be built myself. Later on, I hope to go on and build my own future and have my own children, but in the meantime . . . "

Her voice choked on the words. She quickly looked away, and this was the last time she allowed herself to lay bare the violent emotions that raged inside her.

After consulting with educational advisors, the Tzviellis decided to give Gila their blessing on one condition: that she keep up a phone link at least three times a week, and always call before Shabbos. Her mother, trying hard to keep her face expressionless, made it clear that they would not compromise on less than that. Gila agreed.

She herself was surprised at the trust they had shown her, suddenly, and at the implicit approval they had granted her for the first time in her life.

Gila left. Just like going into golus, she reflected. The small bag that held her personal possessions was light, almost like the strange sense of lightness that swept over her. Tzippy Tzvielli continued to look out after her from the window of her room long after her figure had disappeared over the horizon.

This was an episode she would never forget: her own child, her beloved daughter, walking away, with her chin held erect, not even turning her head once, on her way to an unknown future.


Two months went by. Gila was true to her word. She made sure to share with her worried parents who were so far away all the details of her new life. She described in rosy terms the one-floor house that she had been given which was adjacent to the dorm building, and how she had transformed it. She was free with stories that gushed out of her like a living spring.

When she spoke of her charges, she became particularly enthused. The girls from the dorm came from broken homes and were like orphans, requiring much help with their studies and immense emotional support. They were lonely young girls who had no aspirations or a sense of their own identity.

Tzippy was able to read between the lines as to why Gila identified so closely with them. Isolated and alone, she too felt herself an orphan and longed to make the withered flowers blossom, as she blossomed with them.

Throughout that period, Tzippy was unable to bring about any reconciliation between the twins. Although Gila had not said so explicitly, it was clear that her leaving the house also entailed a separation from her twin, at least in the near future. This was a wordless understanding between Gila and her parents, who understood how deeply the matter preyed on her heart.

As for Chedva, she was beside herself with grief and broken spirits. Her conscience smote her that she hadn't shown her sister sufficient sensitivity, understanding or support in her times of hardship. She felt completely inadequate in the face of the extreme step her sister had taken, and especially the separation she had unofficially declared on the day she left to live on the moshav.

"If only I could find a way to turn my sister's heart back to me, and be close to her . . . " Chedva agonized, over and over, although she knew, deep down, that she would have to accept her sister's desire neither to speak to her or see her, for better or for worse. She lost herself in her work and in raising her two lovely boys, and tried to console herself for the great void that her sister had left in her life.

A year went by, and another, and another, and she had almost succeeded -- until the day came when her daughter was born and her world turned upside down.

In the beginning everything seemed rosy and perfect. Chedva hugged the new baby and was blissfully happy. But then began those frightful attacks of shortness of breath, followed by the terrifying tests which showed that her baby daughter suffered from a severe heart defect, a very rare disorder that demanded an immediate emergency operation.

Chedva was far from being an expert on medical terminology, but the medical professors insisted on bluntly diagnosing the disease, stripping away all her illusions. She shuddered at the notion that her baby was born with inverted blood vessels so that instead of the aorta, the main artery of the heart, exiting from the left chamber, it had transferred to the right chamber, switching with the main artery of the lung which had shifted to the left side.

"Your daughter won't survive for much longer, because the blood she is getting is not oxygenated," explained the doctors. "Everything is a result of the transposition, the inverting of the blood vessels."

Chedva could not believe that this was all happening to her. She wasn't used to such struggles as these. Life up till now had only smiled at her. And now suddenly to be struck with such a blow.

It was clear from the doctor's words that matters could not be delayed, not even for a day. First of all, a hole had to be made in the heart, so that the oxygenated blood could pass through it. This was an artificial correction that would grant her baby a certain amount of time to live until the major surgery could be implemented.

Chedva and her husband of course did not accept the doctor's decision without first seeking a second opinion from the rabbinic advisors in medicine. They discovered that all the doctors were in agreement that the hole had to be implemented as emergency first aid. However, with regard to the complex operation that would repair the defect, they were advised to go to only one place: the Medical Center of the University of Michigan, which specialized in infant heart disorders.

Chedva's heart sank. In such a short period she had to struggle with two complex operations and a trip overseas. The experience was a little too overwhelming for one so young, and it became increasingly more difficult due to the terrible pangs of conscience that assailed her as a result. During this period, Chedva began to yearn for her sister, who was so far away from her, with great intensity. Now she understood how much mental strength she had needed to withstand the numerous tests she had faced in her life, and was amazed at how she had coped.

Chedva blamed herself, over and over, for everything that had happened, chastising herself for the suffering of her little baby who was connected to endless machines, and was certain that the punishment she had been given was directly linked to her sister's mortal wound. True, she had no control over the events, but perhaps now she was being prosecuted for sitting back and allowing her twin, who was her closest blood relative, to cut herself off from her and her family? Maybe this was a hint that she herself was an accomplice to the bloodshed?

For three years now, she had not exchanged a single word with her sister nor had she initiated any conciliatory meetings, but had satisfied herself with sending regards through intermediaries. Surely her sister would have expected her to exert herself a little more than that? Could it be that she expected her to give up on the relationship between them with such ease?

The next days were packed with tests, evaluations and feverish planning for the emergency trip to the Michigan Medical Center, giving Chedva precious little time to dwell on her tortured reflections. Her little baby was already, b'chasdei Hashem, in the recovery stages following the first operation. She had to organize a very exact schedule for her two remaining children, whose grandparents would rapidly turn into their father and mother in the coming weeks, as well as arrange the packing, leave-taking, and even the fundraising for an extremely expensive operation!

Tzippy Tzvielli once again faced another forced separation -- this time from her second daughter -- and was to remain behind, besieged with anxiety. Only one week later, her daughter and son-in-law were on the plane to Michigan.

The famous chesed personnel from the Jewish community of Michigan awaited them at the airport, ready to help them overcome all the impossible hurdles faced by people in their circumstances. They immediately put them in touch with doctors from the Medical Center for infant heart disorders to save the baby girl whose life was in danger and have her taken as soon as possible to the operating room. They were there to convert their broken English into a fluent English that could be comprehended by the hospital staff.

However, all the warmth and care that these kind American Jews showered on her did not assuage, even partially, her sense of alienation and wretchedness inside the walls of the hospital. In her despair, she opened up her tiny sefer Tehillim and immersed herself in reciting the familiar verses, her lips moving silently.

Hot tears gushed from her eyes, wetting the yellowed pages. Her hands instinctively moved to the tiny little body that was enveloped in the enormous hospital bed, caressing it with compassion.

Entirely detached from the sounds and sights around her, Chedva continued to implore the Borei Olom for mercy, among other things pleading with Him to forgive her for the sin whose burden was too great for her to endure, and to bring her sister back to her.

Through the foggy mist of her tears, she suddenly heard a voice above her. Something about it was so familiar as to be almost painful: "Are you Jewish?" inquired the voice.

But Chedva was too engrossed in her stormy feelings to respond. She buried her head deeper inside her Tehillim.

The feminine voice did not desist: "Are you from Israel?" it intoned again.

A shuddering went through Chedva's whole body, which vibrated with violent emotions. Finally, she raised her head. At first, she only saw a large pair of eyes, which were so different, and yet somehow so familiar. Then the contours of her face became clearer, intensifying her confusion. They were just like she remembered, yet different.

Chedva felt herself about to faint. After she had in her agony pleaded with the Borei Olom, she felt as she had received a direct message that her teshuvoh had been accepted and that her sister had come back to her as if in a dream.

"It can't be," she thought to herself. "Has my mind become unhinged, so that I can't distinguish between imagination and reality? Can this really be Gila? And what is she doing here with the starched blue clothes and the label of head nurse sparkling on her lapel of her overall."

"Don't you live on a moshav?" Chedva asked. She felt foolish, but that was the only question she was capable of emitting.

Gila shook her head. She too looked stunned. She hadn't had the slightest notion that the rare case that the staff had been discussing for the last few days was related to her, and that the Jerusalem baby who had been flown out here with such urgency was none other than her own niece. As always, her mother had sifted out the bad news and told her only the good things, no doubt understanding, with her healthy intuitive instincts, that Gila was undergoing enough sadness herself, without burdening her with other people's sorrows.

"You've changed," Chedva said irrelevantly.

There were so many questions she wanted to ply her sister with, but she suddenly felt that she didn't know this new person in front of her well enough, with the confident posture and the determined look. No, this was definitely not the Gila that she knew, who was downtrodden and afraid of her own shadow. This was a different Gila: self-assured, energetic and authoritative.

"Everything has changed," Gila admitted laconically, continuing to evade the stare that was riveted on her.

"Tell me," Chedva begged. "Give me a chance to understand you, to make amends . . . " the last words were emitted in a low tone, with a mortified expression.

"I am sorry that I hid the truth from all of you." Gila pulled up a little stool from the corner of the room and sat down, at a safe distance from her sister. "Even mother and father don't know. I didn't tell them the turn my life had taken. Actually, perhaps it is a sign from Heaven that I needed to repay them for all the sorrow I caused them, for being such a non-success."

Her voice cracked, but then immediately became firm.

"For one year, while they had a little peace from the daughter who was nothing but a failure, I worked as housemother on a moshav. I enjoyed my work, but it didn't satisfy my longing to create a new image of myself and remake my whole way of life.

"Then I met Tami, now my closest friend, a girl who grew up on the moshav and then immigrated to the United States. She came to visit her family in Israel and talked to me about her work as a nurse.

"At that moment, the plan started to formulate in my mind in all its details. Thanks to her, the plan became a reality. I have always wanted to help people, but I was always forced to take help from them. This was my one chance to become someone of authority, who would make fateful decisions just as I had dreamed of becoming . . . just like you were . . . "

Chedva thought she caught a suspicious moisture in her sister's eyes, but it disappeared immediately.

"I registered for English lessons," continued Gila, "and graduated with honors -- yes, really with honors -- in my nursing studies. With my diploma, and my now perfect English, I traveled with Tami to America. I took an extra supplementary course to update my diploma to fit in with U.S. hospital requirements. Tami recommended me and arranged a job interview for me.

"I had one big advantage. Many Israeli families come here. There are generally communication difficulties between them and the medical staff, and I provided a perfect solution for this. So I was hired. I found a place to live, well- situated in terms of location. I live about a half an hour's distance from the hospital, next to my friend, Tami Badtoriat. The warmth of the Jewish community is wonderful. It's been a year -and-a-half since then, and I've already been promoted to head nurse in this department. I hope I will also find my future here, and end this miserable cycle which weighs like a stone on my heart."

"You surprise me," murmured Chedva. "I never knew you were like that."

"I didn't know either," Gila interjected, in a voice devoid of emotion. "It's a pity I found out so late."

Chedva shifted uncomfortably in her seat, sensing that she had touched on hidden territory, which was out of bounds, and that the open conversation between them had barely penetrated the surface, in her attempt to reconstruct the ruins that lay between them.

"I never forgot you, not even for a day." Chedva felt that she had to clarify this critical point. "But you rejected all the messengers. You refused even to communicate through letters."

"It was unavoidable," Gila muttered between tight lips. She had a faraway expression in her eyes. "It helped me to heal my broken heart."

Chedva wanted to keep on prodding, to make a chink in the rigid armor of indifference, but at the same moment she heard an American voice announce from the corridor: "Gila Tzvielli, urgent, to Room 5."

"Sorry," Gila sprang up instantly. "I have to go . . . "

Without a single glance in her direction, she exited the room in a whirl, leaving her sister full of confusion and agitation.

In the next few days, it became clear to Chedva that the dramatic meeting would far from realize her hopes of a newfound reunion. Gila was too busy to be available for deep conversations, ceaselessly running to and fro in the busy ward, dealing with cases far more complex and difficult than hers.

Chedva had thought that the reunion with her sister would improve her position in the hospital and have her daughter assigned a nurse at her bedside for free, but her hopes came to nothing. Instead, she spent her time in aimless searches for her sister in the expanses of the huge ward. It seemed to Chedva that she had intentionally run away from her, fearing another tete-a-tete meeting.

Two days later, Gila came up to her of her own accord. In an entirely impassive voice, she told her, "I've been given an emergency transfer to another hospital, which is also a children's one."

Chedva could not believe her ears. "When we have just found each other? When we could have gotten close to each other?" She refrained from expressing her doubts over the strange transfer, which perhaps Gila had herself requested so as to run away from her again.

"I believe we will meet again." Gila's voice was still distant. The sense of loss that was reflected in her sister's face was absent from hers. "I hope that the operation will go well and your daughter's heart will be transformed."

Evidently, she had purposely chosen this image, whose meaning was not lost on her sister. Chedva shivered. "I only hope that our hearts too will be transformed," she thought, feeling like a helpless observer in a vision, with no power to change anything.


Chasdei Shomayim, her baby passed this enormous hurdle, too, and survived the operation. She had to undergo a few more small treatments of the walls of the heart chambers that needed some repair, but the doctors were satisfied with the results.

"Now the heart is almost like new, and most of the damage has been corrected," they told her.

Chedva had mixed feelings. Certainly, her heart was bursting with joy that they had managed to almost completely repair her daughter's heart defect. However, there was another heart close to hers that was broken and cried out for repair. The hearts of her and her twin evidently required a much more complex correction, and only a series of painful operations in the soul would succeed in restoring them to their original vitality.

Through the webs of misty drops that covered her eyes, blocking her vision as she followed the sea of passengers surging forward, Chedva caught sight of her mother moving rapidly in her direction. She fell into her arms, pressing her daughter between herself and her mother . . . three hearts pounding against each other. The heart of the mother, the heart of the daughter who had returned from the foreign land, and the tiny little intact heart--all linked as one.

Only one heart was missing to complete the frame for the rosy family portrait: that of Gila, who remained behind in the foreign land, and maybe, maybe, one day her heart too would be joined with theirs.


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