Simha Sudri

She barely put one foot past the shelter's threshold when the whole building began to shake - it suffered a direct hit by an artillery shell

In 1967 when tension and fear were taking hold of the country, Simha Sudri was pregnant with her son Noam. As if that were not enough, her husband was drafted and she was left alone to take care of her family. Apparently because of the tension and the stress, she gave birth a month early and Noam was born prematurely. The doctors said that it was too early to circumcise him, and she was warned that in the event of a war, she and Noam would have to be sent home. Simha found a mohel in the hospital who examined her son and said that circumcision was possible.

On Friday, Sudri’s neighobrs in the Kiryat Hayovel neighborhood enlisted to help her and they cooked, arranged and organized the circumcision. Her relatives offered their home where Sudri could recover, but she did not want her husband to return from the army and find an empty house, so she stayed with her children, including the newborn baby. Three days after the circumcision, on Monday, Simha was busy washing diapers when a siren sounded. Although she had prepared bags in case she had to go down to the shelter, she decided to stay home. While busy with the laundry, a civil defense soldier entered the apartment, which was on the fourth floor, and shouted at her that she must go immediately to the shelter, with or without diapers!

Simha Sudri hoisted the two kitbags she had prepared, lifted Noam, and ran down sixty steps all the way to the shelter. She barely put one foot past the shelter’s threshold when the whole building began to shake – it suffered a direct hit by an artillery shell. Sudri, shaken and trembling, entered the shelter and found one of the neighbors weeping for an expensive lamp that probably broke. Don’t worry about the lamp, she said to her, worry for your husband.

When she was allowd to leave the shelter, Sudri went back to her apartment and found it destroyed after being hit directly by the shell. With the help of the neighbors, she organized it so that she and her children, who returned from school where they had found shelter, could still live there. This is where her husband found her when he returned from the war, and he was surprised since she had not written a word to him about the shelling. As for the soldier who saved her life – she had never met him before the war and never saw him again afterwards.