Letter to Abigail

An Orphan from the Versailles Disaster in a Letter to Abigail who Lost Her Parents

Limor Zussman, who lost her parents in the Versailles disaster 23 years ago, writes a letter to Abigail Idan, the four-year-old girl who was freed from captivity of the terrorist organization Hamas.

(Photo: Schneider spokesperson)

"Hello Sivan, my name is Limor Zussman. 23 years ago, when I was 6 years old, my parents went to a wedding in the Versailles hall and never came back. As you know, the floor collapsed, and dozens were killed. I woke up in the morning and realized that I was alone in the world.

"When I hear about Abigail Idan, the girl who lost both her parents and returned from captivity, and about other children - I know this complete darkness.

"I remember everyone sitting at the house of one of the aunts and crying, one aunt passed out, the other screamed... I left the house, no one noticed, I went to the yard, pointed to three stars in the sky and said out loud: 'Father, Mother and God are watching over me together.' Later it turned out that a photojournalist took pictures of me there.

"From that moment, I received strength that is not of this world, to cling to life and choose it. Over the years I learned the verse:

'כִּי אָבִי וְאִמִּי עֲזָבוּנִי וַה' יַאַסְפֵנִי'.

('For my father and mother have forsaken me, and the Lord will gather me.')

"I learned the power of widows and widowers, of orphans. They have a special protection.

"I don't want to make empty promises: it doesn't pass. I'm still the 6-year-old girl waiting for her parents to come back from the wedding. I am still the 12-year-old girl standing at the Bat Mitzvah ceremony in the sixth grade, with all my friends standing next to their mothers, and the fathers in the audience.

"But I saw it in my own life: God took a soul - but will give comfort.

"You have to work for it. To everyone around me I say: Be with them in their pain. Give and hug and don't ask for anything. Be sensitive and careful. give them time, and most importantly: don't feel sorry for them! Leave the pity outside. Just show them their strengths. Don't focus on their injuries but on their strengths. Don't make them dependent on the graces of others all their lives, let them build themselves up bravely.

"Today I am married, a mother, studying to work in the counseling and family field (perhaps precisely because I lost a family). You can choose life.

"I didn't sleep all night and I wrote this for myself, for the bereaved families, for everyone, and for one girl in particular. Welcome back, Abigail."


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