A Mother Dreams of Israel

Stand for Israel  |  June 6, 2022

Aliyah to Israel from Ethiopia
(Photo: IFCJ)

Of all the stories of aliyah (immigration to Israel), perhaps none are as heart-warming and heart-wrenching as those of Ethiopia’s Jewish community, many of whom made aliyah in decade’s past. And, before the ongoing war in Ukraine began threatening that nation’s Jewish community, another war in Ethiopia was once again making aliyah a necessity for the remaining Ethiopian Jews.

As we pray for the safety and safe return of all of God’s children “from the four corners of the earth,” we share a recent story by Ynet News’ Ortal Mogos, of a Jewish mother from Ethiopia and her journey to Israel:

The house where she lived as a child went up in flames, she was orphaned at a very young age and later also widowed. She then immigrated to Israel from Ethiopia via Sudan, on a ship as part of the Israeli government’s operation to assist Ethiopian Jews, and she finally arrived in the Holy Land in November 1981.

The Jews from the Beta Israel communities in Ethiopia marched through the desert in tough conditions, facing many hurdles along the way. Thousands of them, however, didn’t survive the arduous journey.

Nowadays, Tesma, 62, lives in an urban Israeli settlement on the outskirts of Hebron, works with the elderly, and owns a business for natural products. Temsa shared that even now, her adult children don’t know the full story of her journey to Israel. “I didn’t tell them,” she says laughingly. “I didn’t tell them their mother was stubborn, and that’s why we live in Israel…”