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A Heart Connection

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Rosa says: “Every person has a story to tell, everyone has their personal history book.”

Rosa’s life book includes poverty, discrimination, professional achievement and menial work.  It also contains a rich Jewish heritage and finally immigration to her ancient Homeland.  Homecare has the privilege many times of hearing similar stories from aging Russian immigrants who have lived through war and repression. As trust grows, the stories come. 

Rosa was born in Russia after WW2 and grew up hearing the stories of fear and flight, and about her mother’s first husband killed at the Front and her efforts to provide for her two small children by undertaking hard physical labor. 

Her mother remarried in 1946 and life continued but in difficult conditions such as the bitter cold of winter when ice would form on the inside walls. They shared living space with several families and this continued until the mid-seventies when they were assigned a better place to live.  Rosa was born in 1948 and speaks lovingly of her father, whose first wife died during flight in the war and who had four children from his first marriage.  Rosa recalls how he loved her mother and all the children and raised them to observe the Jewish traditions.  Every Friday night candles were clandestinely lit because by then any expression of Faith, was forbidden.

Rosa’s academic studies were limited because of being Jewish but she became a teacher.  She made Aliya in 1990, together with her widowed mother and her sister Nina although her mother who had been affected by the radiation from Chernobyl, died a year later.  Here Rosa stops the story and goes to a bookshelf to select a book to show Homecare nurse Corrie, one of the few which was smuggled out because the authorities forbade Jews taking religious books with them.  It was after Nina became ill that Homecare came into Rosa’s life when they began providing weekly showering assistance for her older sister. 

In spite of not being able to work as a teacher in Israel, Rosa happily accepted factory work and later became a domestic helper. ‘Go to Israel’, her father had always encouraged and that’s where she is happy to be.

Nina passed away, but Rosa could not bear the Homecare visits to cease.  A special person to talk to, someone with whom she could share her heart, and above all, Nurse Corrie had helped care for her beloved sister. The faithful service of Homecare not only provides practical assistance, but deep friendship.


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