Extracts from the book "Days of Nissan", biography of Rabbi Nissan Gidanian. Author: Rabbi Reuven Zachaim (Zacaim) Jerusalem, 2004
Chapter II: To the land that I will show you
Circa 1946 Rabbi Raphael and his wife and all their children immigrated to the Holy Land, for which their hearts longed. They were housed in a threadbare tent made of fabric, which high winds would fling into the distance, leaving its inhabitants at the mercy of the rain that poured down furiously. The land of Israel was earned by them with hard sufferings and pains of integration, some of which were described to us by dear Uncle Gideon: "when we arrived in Israel, we were housed in rundown tents made of fabric. It seems to be an impossible task to describe, if only in a nutshell, the sorrow and the sufferings that were our lot, the oppressive heat in summer, the freezing cold in the winter which was often accompanied by severe storm winds, sometimes uprooting the tent altogether and tossing it far away, leaving us exposed to the freezing cold. Above all, the malign influence of the bandits who terrorized us, who would wickedly wander between our tents while we slept, snatching anything from blankets to ... babies. So we had to put our baby’s cradle between two beds of the older children so they wouldn’t snatch him….". Only a long period of time later did they receive a proper roof over their heads in Tel Mond, a town in the Sharon, and there they made their home.
And sons came back to their borders
Another story that illustrates how responsible and dedicated he was to his parents in particular and to the household in general, happened when they emigrated to Israel, as we were told by his dear (late) brother Gideon: "Nissan has succeeded with his resourcefulness to prevent the kidnapping of our youngest brother. As if all the troubles that surrounded us upon our arrival to Israel were not enough, the infamous wrath of the establishment came upon us, who snatched babies from their mothers, mistreated them and sold them off, it is true that this tragedy mainly occurred to the children of immigrants from Yemen, and as a result this matter received extensive public resonance, specifically in connection to them, but one must know that their reach didn't skip over immigrant children from other ethnic backgrounds, and this misfortune did not pass-over our home either. One day the “devoted” agents of the state came to our home, and took our baby brother under false pretence, indifferent to the pleas of parents. Our parents were beside themselves with grief, and we little ones could do nothing to alleviate their sufferings. We sat sad and withdrawn into ourselves. Until Nissan came home. He but heard from us the story and immediately avowed: I will not rest until I return him healthy and well to the bosom of our parents! We were amazed, though even then Nissan was the doer and goer in all matters of the home and all followed his word, but we still wondered to ourselves: how could a young boy fight against a well-oiled and cruel establishment?! It turned out that we were wrong. Nissan went wherever he went, was rejected by this and that clerk with false claims and vanities, but he did not give up, he stood his ground until he broke their stony hearts, and they told him that his brother was given for “adoption” to a wealthy family in Haifa. Our brother Nissan did not think twice and somehow, immediately made his way to Haifa.
I remember that night had already fallen and the hour was late, but Nissan had yet to return, and out of fear for his well-being we decided to go to the main road and await his return. How great was our joy when a very short time later, we observed his tall figure approaching us, smiling. He was tired, his face revealed the difficulty of the mission he took upon himself, but he was content. He told us that he went to the house to which our brother was sold and lengthily persuaded the buyers that it was a fraud, and that their brother is a son to parents who are alive and well and eagerly awaiting his return, until he managed to convince them that he was not lying and they agreed to return the boy.
And so it happened, the next day, our baby brother returned to our home safe and sound to our endless joy. His kindness and cleverness were further illustrated by his actions when Nissan took the opportunity to return two other babies who were given up for adoption under similar circumstances, to the happy arms of their parents who were our neighbours... "
Sincerely, Rabbi Reuven Zachaim
Rabbi, lecturer and explainer.
An article published in “Kikar Shabbat” on the case on the 06.22.2016
Above all, the malign influence of the bandits who terrorized us, who would wickedly wander between our tents while we slept, snatching anything from blankets to ... babies. So we had to put our baby’s cradle between two beds of the older children so they wouldn’t snatch him
Nissan went wherever he went, was rejected by this and that clerk with false claims and vanities, but he did not give up, he stood his ground until he broke their stony hearts, and they told him that his brother was given for “adoption” to a wealthy family in Haifa. Our brother Nissan did not think twice and somehow, immediately made his way to Haifa.