I am writing with an aching heart. Indeed, a broken heart with tears streaming down my cheeks as I write these lines, so painful that my vision is clouded because of my tears.
If you had seen the beautiful photos of a gorgeous 1-year-old baby girl…if you had read the story of her tragic death, an unnecessary death, a death by manslaughter… I’m certain that your tears would be mingled with mine.
Baby Yasmin was the 1-year-old infant daughter, the only child, of two very loving parents who came to Israel as foreign workers from Moldova. Look at the photos of a mother and a father embracing their first-born child …their only child. Look at their smiling faces and share the joy of their great love for the baby daughter whom they named Yasmin.
Look…and cry out for their loss. Cry out for justice against the young Ukrainian woman who is responsible for the child’s death.
Baby Yasmin had been in a daycare facility while her parents went to work. A 23-year-old Ukrainian girl was responsible for the child’s welfare. Her miserable failure ended an innocent baby’s life.
According to the news reports, the caregiver dragged baby Yasmin on the floor and threw her onto a blanket, wrapping her into the blanket from head to toe. She then laid down on the blanket with her full body covering the child, using the child’s tiny body as a pillow and smothering the child, until there was no sign of life.
At Schneider Childrens’ Hospital, baby Yasmin was pronounced dead. A case of wanton manslaughter.
Her mother and father, when interviewed, were asked what punishment they thought should be given to the Ukrainian. The mother replied, “I wish for her to be given the death penalty, but I know that in Israel it does not exist. Let her then be given the maximum prison sentence”.
Twenty years of imprisonment seems hardly sufficient punishment, in my opinion, for a case of manslaughter. And probably the Ukrainian will receive even a lesser prison sentence.
But what solace, what healing balm of Gilead, can soothe the intense pain of grieving parents?
They came to Israel to work and they fell in love with our country. Here, together with their baby girl, they found true happiness .
They had hoped to be allowed to remain here and to make the Israel of their dreams their new and permanent home, to raise up children in a free country where the protection of a child is supposed to be enforced.
How did the Ukrainian worker slip through the loop-holes? Was she on drugs? Was the baby’s death an accident? Was it from carelessness or from wanton cruelty? We await answers.
What can we, as a nation of the Jewish people, a people of rachmanut…of mercy and compassion… do to bring comfort to a young grieving mother and father?
We dare not remain silent. We are a nation which suffers tragedies every day. Parents worry about sons and daughters on the border of Gaza and on the heights of the Golan. We sit glued to radio and television reports hoping and praying that our children are safe.
Where is our pity as a nation of Jews for the senseless and purposeless killing of an infant child unable to call out for help?
The smiling face of an innocent baby will haunt me for the rest of he days of my life.
I would like to see created a “Keren Yasmin,” a fund in memory of a 1-year-old little girl named Yasmin.
I have written to our Interior Ministry, and through them to the medical staff of Schneider Chldrens’ Hospital and to the police responsible for dealing with this crime, requesting the name of the family and their address in order that I might be privileged to fulfill a mitzvah of love, caring and comfort to them.
Looking at the beautiful photos posted by the parents of a beautifully dressed little girl only causes more tears to flow. As a father and a grandfather who cherishes the birth of children and the joy and nachas of watching them grow up, I cannot sit idly and go about my tasks with an easy heart.
I pray that the good-hearted citizens of Israel will flood the news agencies, the medical director of the Schneider Childrens’ Hospital and our national police force, in a sincere effort to locate the grieving parents and to flood them with cards and letters of condolence. Let them know that the Jews of Israel stand with them in their hours of grief.
It is a broken heart which cries out for justice…for punishment of the Ukrainian criminal and for solace to a bereaved mother and father.
HaMakom yenachem otam… may our loving God embrace them with His abundant love and mend the broken hearts of broken parents.