A letter from Sophie Vardi, Onefamily’s UK Liaisons Coordinator:
I wanted to share with you about my personal encounters with some incredible people at the Purim party last night.
Chantal spoke beautifully about the idea of masks and how victims of terror put on a mask every day (see below) and so did the deputy speaker of the Knesset who is a victim of terror herself. MK Yehuda Glick also urged the victims to take strength from Purim.
All the staff dressed up and it was a very special evening.
One lady who I spent some time with was injured in the April 18 bus bombing last year. She showed me photos where her skin was literally black, burnt from the bombing. Today her face was glowing and she looked so healthy, yet obviously still carrying the pain of what she went through.
This was the first OF event she said she was attending. Interestingly enough, she worked for many years in 8200 – Israel secret unit. I explained I was from the UK and the work I was doing. When I asked her if she worked and then I realized quickly what she did without her saying too much, she said she was in that unit and I said say no more! (many of my former colleagues were in that Mossad unit).
Her training clearly helped save her life but she was so representative of the human spirit and the wonders of medicine I can’t stop thinking about her…a true heroine of Israel. She told me that she appreciates OneFamily so much but she finds it hard to talk to others because she has been trained for so many years not to talk, but now she is learning to be a civilian and hopes to attend more events in the future.
Another incredible man I met was someone from Beit Shean who was in a terror attack where he was shot eight times in his face and body but he has such an “or panim– a light in his face,” it was so amazing to meet him.
There were so many, many special people all gathered together under the auspices of OneFamily that is something that you would all be so proud to see. I know when we all work behind the scenes with office work the ‘inspirational feelings’ are sometimes hidden- somewhat like the miracle of Purim, but I wanted to thank you all for giving me the opportunity to meet such special people, each one a different hero of Israel.