David and Rumia Sa’id Dahari

My parents, Rumia and David Sa’id Dahari, immigrated to Israel from Yemen in 1949-1950. They were in the Ein Shemer transit camp: father, mother, and three children -- an older daughter and two sons -- who had been born in Yemen. My mother had been pregnant with a fourth child, Yona -- the one they took to the hospital and afterwards announced that she was dead. They did not bring her any death certificate nor did they show a body. The local rabbi showed them a very dark-skinned baby inside a suitcase who did not resemble baby Yona at all. There was not even a name attached to the body; the rabbi simply looked for whoever had checked a girl into the hospital, and “delivered” the body to whoever said they had had a baby in the hospital. Mother does not remember if it was the Emek Hospital in Afula or Rambam in Haifa. It is important to mention that most of us in the family are fair-skinned; both mother and I are fair-skinned.

After that, my mother became pregnant again, and gave birth to a daughter Ora. They visited her in the hospital. She was healthy; mother remembers that she used to laugh and play. Mother felt well and wanted to take her home and the nurse said no, that she needed another examination by the doctor. The next day, Mother returned and was notified that the baby Ora died. Mother screamed and cried but it did not help her.

After many years, we also received a draft notice.

My mother, of blessed memory, lived all her life with doubts; she knew that the girls were alive (especially Ora, whom they had seen healthy and laughing).

I think that with a rupture of many years like this, if we saw her we would not manage to be real siblings, but if she is alive and reading this, let her make contact; let us at least know her.

I expect the state to recognize and admit to this affair. Even if all the guilty parties are not found, just recognize this affair, because it is an open wound.

Aloni Tov of the Dahari-Sa’id family