Dedicated to Dafna, a Foster Child

I can’t stop thinking about Dafna…..because there was something very alive about Dafna that leaves me shattered.

As I learn more about her I realize how much she touches me.

I try to process her from the inside out.

She seemed to be an extraordinary teacher.

A cradle of wisdom. A fountain of generosity.

She was not “left” and she was not “right”. She was a woman with largesse of spirit and soul, who embraced something bigger than that, bigger then herself.

A woman who navigated many transits in her short, packed, life…..a woman who bridged many gaps.

From foster child to foster parent.

From powerless victim to powerful healer.

From magnanimous student to magnanimous mentor.

From bountiful life to awful death.


I don’t try to “understand” the searing pain leading to the final days. It’s not understandable.

Even if I could, I can’t look at that slice right now. It’s too hard.

What I can do, right now, is look through my magnifying glass.

The enlarged pores are hard to see, but they need to be seen.

They lead me to examine. They lead me to begging questions.

Am I larger than the pettiness, the politics, the illusion, like Dafna was?

Can I hope to cover the range of human experience that Dafna covered?

How do you bridge, how do you heal, how do you foster, like Dafna?

The following poem is dedicated to Dafna.

You child of G-d, you foster child

You grew up homeless, rootless, exiled

Hallways and corridors, lack and void

You learned to fend, you learned destroyed

A breakthrough year, you turned 13

An adopted mother, a life unforeseen

You opened up, you desert rose, you learned to give and take from those

You met your soulmate on the sand, with one request before his hand

I must give back from where I came

Fostering is my life’s domain

So you fostered yourself, you fostered voice

You fostered biology, you fostered choice

You moved out of your circle

To foster some others

Who needed fostering

That you could mother

You fostered your patients, those from Ishmael too

You fostered the green line, the hilltops, the view

You fostered integrity, love, and might

For legions of people, your nation, your plight

Cut down, at your fostering prime

Who can replace Florence Nightingale’s kind

From the Hebron highlands to the coastal plains

Who could not fathom for what still remains

This foster child, a healer for all ages

A full circle journey, a question that rages

Your death, dear Dafna, will not be in vain

For its message while cryptic, is part of G-d’s reign

For you, dear Dafna, have left at a cusp

And the question dear Dafna

…….is what it fostered in us.
























About the Author
Karen Wolfers Rapaport is an educator, therapist , writer, and proud mother. Leading groups throughout Israel, she integrates psychology, philosophy, and language instruction for clients that include the Office of the Prime Minister, Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics and for corporate clients and organizations including Teva Pharmaceuticals, OrCam Technologies and Yad Vashem. Karen is also a featured writer for several Jewish websites. She is passionate about unifying people from different cultural and religious backgrounds and creating transformative experiences.
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