When the Old and New Cities of Jerusalem were reunited in 1967, a
recently widowed Arab woman, who had been living in Old Jerusalem
up to 1948, wanted to see once more the house in which she formerly
lived. Now that the city was one, she searched for and found her
old home. She knocked on the door of the apartment, and a Jewish
widow came to the door, and greeted her. The Arab woman explained
that she had lived there until 1948, and wanted to look around. She
was invited in, and offered coffee. The Arab woman said, "When I
lived here, I hid some valuables. If they are still here, I will
share them with you, half and half."
The Jewish woman refused. "If they belonged to you, and are still
here, they are yours." After much discussion back and forth, they
entered the bathroom, loosened the floor planks, and found a hoard
of gold coins. The Jewish woman said, "I shall ask the government
to let you keep them." She did and permission was granted.
The two widows visited each other again, and again, and one day, the
Arab woman told her, "You know, in the 1948 fighting here, my husband
and I were so frightened that we ran away to escape. We grabbed our
belongings, took the children, and each fled separately. We had a
three-month-old son. I thought my husband had taken him, and he
thought I had him. Imagine our grief when we were reunited in Old
Jerusalem to find that neither of us had taken the child."
The Jewish woman turned pale, and asked the exact date. The Arab
woman named the date and the hour, and the Jewish widow told her:
"My husband was one of the Israeli troops that entered Jerusalem.
He came into this house, and found a baby on the floor. He asked
if he could keep the house and the baby, too. Permission was granted."
At that moment, a twenty-year-old Israeli soldier in uniform walked
into the room, and the Jewish woman broke down in tears.
"This is your son," she cried.
This is one of those incredible tales we hear. And the aftermath?
The two women liked each other so much that the Jewish widow asked
the Arab mother: "Look, we are both widows living alone. Our children
are grown up. This house has brought you luck. You have found your
son, or our son. Why don't we live together?" And they did!
What a beautiful story!