At a Knesset committee established to investigate the disappearance of Yemenite children in Israel, a discussion took place about the disappearance of Yemenite mothers, many of them aged 14 to 18.
Miriam Chovra said in a videoed statement that her mother disappeared in 1949, when Miriam was 11 years old. She had been hospitalized, and when Miriam and her sister came to visit her, she had disappeared.
“Just as they said the children of Yemen died, so she had died,” Miriam said. “There is still a black stone on my heart.”
Chairman of the World Federation of Yemenite Jewry Dr. Moshe Nachum spoke to the committee about a father who complained to former Prime Minister Ben Gurion that his wife and son were stolen in front of his eyes. In another case, a woman was taken to a hospital and passed away. When the family opened her shrouds, they found that her eyes and organs had been removed.
Panel member Yossi Yonah spoke of a female cousin who disappeared.
Rachamim Karva spoke in tears of how his mother disappeared from a hospital after his family came to Israel in 1949. No one knew what happened to her, and no one was interested in helping. In the end, his family was told that she had been buried at a certain spot, but the body there was of a woman twice her age.
“My grandmother and father died of grief,” Rachamim said.
At another meeting, Committee Chairman MK Nurit Koren shocked religious committee members by speaking insolently against the halachic restrictions agreed upon when opening graves, saying, “I’m sorry that I gave halacha any say in the matter.”