A needed moment of authentic humanity was witnessed through Israeli media during Israel’s 71st birthday celebration, thanks to 93-year-old Marie Nahmias. Nahmias, a true woman of valor, has quietly created a safe haven for both Arab and Israeli children in her home, which shines a light on just how possible peace might be.
For 54 children born with disabilities, and rejected by their own parents, Nahmias fostered, loved and cared for them, in addition to her 8 children. Nahmias says it began when her own son was injured in the 1973 war. She prayed for his recovery and so promised to accept any mission given to her. Her son indeed recovered, and one day called her to ask if she help a small girl in need. Since then, Nahmias understood her mission and has continued to provide a home children in need.
Given the honor of lighting the torch at the national ceremony, her story and message offered a true light of unity on what individuals can create if they choose to. Going off the script she was given after being prompted by host Aviv Arush, she blessed the state of Israel with something that everyone deeply needed – a genuine moment of care, love and compassion from a true matriarch.
“May Israel be blessed, from all my heart, God will hear me, and the righteous [in Heaven], that it [Israel] rises ever upward, that we grow, that our soldiers don’t fall anymore — from all my heart, that the Jews and the Arabs and the Christians and the Druze, tomorrow we will all become one single hand,” she said. “We are all made by God, may he give us peace, and next year, may there be another 10 million [of us] … for the splendor of Israel.”