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A Mind Held Captive: Malka Goldberg’s Story

C.B. Gavant

It was late evening when I got the phone call. “There’s a speech at my house that I’m sure you want to hear,” said my friend Bassie. “Not tonight,” I begged off. “I’m exhausted and so are the kids.” “You’ll regret missing this one,” she insisted. “This is going to change your whole perspective on life.” And so, at her insistence, I came and met Malka Goldberg. And hearing her story indeed changed my entire life.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

“Ima, I want to go play in the park.”

“Okay, Daniel, we can go when Abba comes home.”

“I want to go now!”

“You know I can’t take you alone. It won’t be long, and then we’ll go.”

“Ima, there are so many things you can’t do! You can’t walk, you can’t write, you can’t pick anything up off the floor, you can’t wash dishes, you can’t give baths …”

“That’s right. There are so many things I can’t do. It’s frustrating, isn’t it?”

(Pause.) “But you can talk to me, you can read books to me, you can hold me on your lap, you can hug me and kiss me. You can do lots of things.”

This conversation took place ten years ago, but the situation hasn’t changed. Malka Goldberg, Beit Shemesh wife and mother of six, cannot walk, write, pick anything up off the floor, wash dishes, or give baths. Yet incredibly, over the past eighteen years she has succeeded in managing a home, raising her children, and chairing the board of a Beit Shemesh school with a current student body of over one thousand.


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