Mashiah and Yehudit Harandish

My parents emigrated from Persia in 1950. On July 6, 1954, my mother gave birth at a hospital on Brandes Street (today’s Hillel Yaffe) to twins: a son and a daughter. When my father went to visit her the ward nurse called him over to talk. “You have five children at home, and now you have another two and will have seven – it will be very difficult for you to take care of the kids.”

We were living in a place called Abrobang which was shacks made of tarpaulin. And she continued. “With you the Persians, you prefer the boys. Take your son, and we will buy the daughter."

They named the amount which I cannot remember exactly.

My father heard this offer from the nurse, he wanted to die.

“Why are you talking to me like that?! These are my children! In Persia we did not sell children and we do not sell children now!”

He told my mother right away about this conversation and my mother started crying. My mother asked the nurse to come and clarified to her that they do not sell babies. They both returned home with the children. The boy, named Yehuda, went to nursery and the daughter, who was named Tamar, stayed at home. Tamar is still alive today and has children and grandchildren. I used to take Yehuda to and from the nursery every day. One day at the nursery we were told the boy was sick and that he urgently needs to be taken to hospital, to the same one in which he was born, and we we took him there.

He was there for some days, and a few days later came they came in the evening and told them that the child had died. The parents arrived at the hospital and asked to see the body. They were given a sack of meat. I cannot describe it any other way. All this was at night so they would not notice what actually happened. They returned home and said it's not our child. We do not know what they gave us. We talked about it at home all the time and we wanted to do something about it. Our parents are not alive anymore and I had to get it out. We sincerely want to know where he is, at least to know that he is alive. Tamar is his twin sister and maybe her photo might help.

I'm talking to you and I'm trembling all over. I feel that I'm crying ...

Leah Harel

The nurse said to my father: “With you the Persians, you probably prefer the boys. Take your son, and we will buy the daughter."