Abundant Gratefulness Amid Suffering

Saturday, March 9, 2024

“On 22 Tishrei (October 7th), I fled for my life in light of the horrifying and gruesome massacre perpetrated by the murderous organization Hamas on the dear residents of the Gaza Envelope and sadly I was injured...”


This is Shalom’s story, one filled with great suffering, and yet he chooses to let thankfulness overflow in his heart in the midst of it all.

We have known Shalom and his wife, Bruria, since 2015. We provided them with eyeglasses, and have stayed in touch throughout the years.

In 2004, Shalom was injured in a rocket attack and his life has never been the same. Both Shalom and his wife have mental and physical disabilities and are supported by the government and Social Security. Shalom takes anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medication, along with weekly treatments at the Sderot Resilience Center and monthly check-ups at the Sderot Mental Health Center.

And if that was not enough to battle with daily, on October 7th Shalom and Bruria were also impacted by the massacre. The terrorists were in their neighborhood that day, and this is what Shalom remembers...

“On the holy Sabbath, 07/10/23 at 06:27 in the morning, a red alert was activated in the city... Sderot, where I reside. Heavy barrages of rockets landed continuously. In my neighborhood, despicable terrorists started shooting at my building, and at passers-by and killed some of them...

We called the local police station in a panic, but there was no answer. It turns out that terrorists were also there and murdered police officers. So, my wife, Bruria, and I locked ourselves in the Mamad (safety room) for about 10 hours until the IDF arrived.

We are now staying at a hotel by the Dead Sea... We receive close mental support. These are hard days, and we can't sleep at night. I rarely leave the room, to avoid meeting people in the elevator. It's thinking endlessly about my friends who were murdered and how it happened that they were murdered.

Dear Mrs. Segal, know that it is only thanks to your blessed help as always, you give us, thank God, the strength and the desire to get the most out of life despite all the difficulties.“

Shalom and Bruria have been evacuated from their home since October 10, 2023, and are staying at a hotel by the Dead Sea, which the government provides. Shalom and his wife were evacuated under intense pressure, massive rocket fire, and terrorists still hiding in their city. As they were leaving their home, Shalom’s laptop fell and broke. They also couldn’t equip themselves properly before leaving their home.

VFI is providing Shalom with a new laptop to replace the one that was broken when he fled for his life. Recently, Shalom also discovered that the water heater in his home was damaged and needed to be replaced. He asked us if we would be able to help him, and we are pleased to help provide the finances for a new water heater and solar panels.

Shalom wrote us a beautiful, heartfelt thank you letter when he heard the great news:

“To the dear, loving, and compassionate "mother" and the founder of Vision for Israel - the honorable and amazing lady Segal Batya... A big thank you for the huge help in paying for both the solar heater and the computer.

You give a person like me, who waves his hands in a silent, desperate plea, one of the occupants of the last car on the last train, which has long since left the platform and feels lonely and forlorn, crying out in a voice that no one can hear anymore... You are like the first ray of light from the darkness, appearing in her house as the redeeming angel, and hears and responds to help in every request of the guest.

Today I sleep in my room at a hotel on the shores of the Dead Sea and dream dreams of peace and quiet despite the difficulties that stand in my way. They have become softer and more pleasant, and by the grace of the great God, I have the desire and courage to get the most from life because of your warm attitude Batya, and your special employees.“

Shalom came to visit us at the Millennium Center to receive the aid that we provided him. Following his visit, Shalom wrote us another beautiful thank-you letter:

Unfortunately for all of us, this war, whose end is not yet in sight, continues to hurt many. This situation emphasizes the enormous need for the continued existence of your organization. And your giving is so simple and natural, and it is done in a dignified and noble manner so that it relieves me of even the unpleasantness of being needy.

Since I fled in panic, shortly after the massacre was perpetrated by the criminals, when I had to be displaced from the family nest urgently and hastily, my laptop broke, I received a new computer from you, on which I am now pouring out my words for you. How can I cherish you and repay you as you deserve? And if this gesture is not enough, the organization also bears the cost of repairing the solar heater and the malfunctioning solar panels.

It's been four months that we, all of us, have been in panic, in turmoil, in darkness. Many of us are in mourning over the murder of loved ones and acquaintances. For four months now we have been subject to nerve-wracking and nail-biting anticipation for the return of the hostages. However, there are also soft and good rays of sunshine, warm and illuminating, shining through the thick black clouds and signaling hope. You, dear ones, are not rays of light - you are a beam of light, with all its colors and shades. For years in general and today - even more so - I have seen and felt it.“

Even though Shalom and Bruria have suffered much, they choose to let thankfulness fill their hearts and overflow onto many around them. We are grateful to know them and to be able to serve them in their time of need.

Join us in continuing to support many other Israeli’s displaced from their homes, as this war continues on.

Are you willing to bless Israel, make a difference in the lives of people, and partner with God's plan for restoration of the land of Israel?

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