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Advice from Yael Shevach

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

Yael Shevach, mother of six, who lost her husband Rav Raziel Shevach in a terrorist attack three years ago, is raising her six children in the Samarian outpost of Havat Gilad. She recently published a humorous book entitled "Widow A" and was a guest at Nifgashot, a forum attended by more than 650 teenage girls. Here is some of her advice:

  • "In my opinion, what puts children in a funk during this corona period is guilt. If they get up late for their Zoom classes they feel guilty enough but then we add to their guilt if we get angry at them for missing their household chores as well. In such cases, I try to relieve the pressure they feel, to help them get into a different space. To talk with them, have a little fun, emphasize their successes, and communicate to them that I only want closeness and connection, because that's the truth. I have seen this work and have been able to return them to their routine."
  • "Immediately after the murder of Raziel, the children asked really simple questions: 'Mother, will we be going two months from now to father's sister's wedding? Mother, will be dressing up next month for Purim?' These questions seemed so insignificant and irrelevant, but they gave me strength during those moments. It was as though my children were telling me: 'The world is still here and we are still a part of it.'"
  • "At first, after the attack, the children saw me as very strong, unbreakable, standing tall. It took time to understand that it was not good for them never to see me as weak, never crying around them. I say to all those who must cope with any type of sorrow: you are allowed to ask for help. It's okay to be weak. It's permitted to take off the flak jacket and the armor, and to be daddy's little girl to our true father, our Father in heaven."


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