Yaffa Glick, Wife of Injured Temple-Mount Activist: “I Close My Eyes and Imagine a Movie with a Happy Ending”
The following is a translated excerpt from the Yediot Achronot article by Sari Makover Belikov.
Yaffa Glick’s first husband died from cancer when she was 23 years old, and she was left on her own with two babies. After the mourning period, she married Yehuda Glick and together they had four children of their own. One was born with a serious heart defect and another suffered from severe burns. After their children recovered, their home in the yishuv of Otniel burned down completely. Despite all this, the Glicks adopted two foster children and became legal guardians for the 6 orphans of the Aimes famiy, whose parents were shot to death in a terrorist shooting. Now, by the bedside of her husband, who was shot last week by a terrorist from Islamic Jihad and is fighting for his life, Yaffa Glick (48) talks about their lives together and says, “I believe that G-d will save us this time as well.”
Yaffa (48) and Yehuda (49) Glick live in the yishuv Otniel and are parents of a complex family: there are two older children from Yaffa’s first marriage, four children from their marriage together, and two foster daughters who joined the family in 1998. In addition, Glick is a legal guardian of the 6 orphans of the Aimes family, whose parents were murdered in a terror attack in 2010 on their way to Beit Hagai.
Few people are familiar with the complicated life story of Yaffa Glick. The abundant and difficult challenges which she has experienced in her life have prepared her, to a certain extent, for the current drama.
When she first met Glick she was a young 23-year-old widow, the mother to a baby and a newborn.
“My first husband, Dudi Molodik z”l, died from cancer,” she says. “When they told us he was seriously ill, Chagai, my first born, was one and a half years old. We found out he was ill the week I received a positive result on my pregnancy test. For 8 terrible months I was at his side. Both of us threw up, but I was getting bigger and bigger, and he was wasting away. When Dudi was dying, we had a talk about what name we should give to the baby who would be born, one name if it happened before he died, another name if the birth was after his death. We prepared for it. And one day after I got up from the shiva, our daughter Avital was born.
“At a very young age I received a lesson in how precious life is. I believe that all the decisions we made after that: how much Yehuda and I invest in our marriage, Yehuda’s mission on Temple Mount, and the decision to adopt our foster daughters into our family—all of them sprang from that experience.”
Interviewer: How did you meet Yehuda?
“When my first husband was on his deathbed and the entire extended family surrounded him and said ‘goodbye’ to him, Dudi said, you should know that I want Yaffa to remarry. His mother took these words almost like his final will and testament, and every few months she would say to me, “Yaffee, you need to get married.” Years afterward, I asked myself how she possibly had such exalted powers of the spirit to pull herself together and concern herself with getting me married a second time. Because I was so deep inside my own pain and missing Dudi and asked myself how she could possibly think of somebody else taking Dudi’s place.
“At the end of the first year of mourning I decided that I was ready to begin looking for a new partner in life. Friends told me that in Otniel there was a guy who went around like the Pied Piper. And all the boys in the yishuv were drawn after him. When I went out with him, friends asked if he kept me laughing the entire date, because Yehuda has a phenomenal sense of humor. But Yehuda sat with me during dates and was terribly serious. We got married in 1991.”
Interviewer: How did the family of your first husband accept him?
YG: “The relationship that formed between the Glicks and Molodiks was simply incredible. From the point of view of Yehuda’s parents, they have two more grandchildren, and from the point of view of Dudi’s parents, his mother once said to me, ‘Dudi was my son, nobody can take him place. But with Yehuda I merited to have another son-in-law.”
Glick immediately adopted the two young orphans. “I know that being blessed with a good marriage twice is not something to take for granted,” Yaffa Glick says with tears in her eyes. “Yehuda is a wonderful husband and a phenomenal father. When we started out, we didn’t have that initial time alone. Every regular couple has at least a few months to build a marriage before the first baby is born, but for us there were already two babies in the background, and we had to make that alone time, even artificially. And since then we’ve been working on this. The family has grown and grown, but we have always found time for ourselves as a couple within it.”
Interviewer: And the children you and Dudi had together?
YG: “For years I would say to Yehuda, I could never do what you do for them. Only after we adopted the foster daughters and I took them on as my daughters, I stopped saying that. Yehuda raised Chagai and Avital in a way that seems almost impossible. With sensitivity. With kindness. With tremendous love. Chagai and Avital call him ‘Abba.’ They are his children. There is no question about that whatsoever. “
In 1992, Yaffa gave birth to Neriya David, in ’94 to Shlomo, and after them to Hallel (18) and Shachar (14).
“When I was in my 8th month of pregnancy with Hallel, it was discovered that he suffered from a severe and rare heart defect. I had a month to prepare, and when he was born, right away he was taken for open-heart surgery and we were pulled into a saga of two years which were very intense and difficult, and all of this was with four other small children at home.
“We went through a very difficult period with Hallel. All the time we promised ourselves that if we would merit to give him a brit, we would give him the name Hallel, which stands for ‘The Doctor of Broken Hearts: HaRofeh L’Shvurei Lev.” And the truth is that we were blessed, and today Hallel is completely healthy. But during that period I spent six years at home with him.
During the 4th year at home with Hallel, I sent my children to a camp before Passover. At the camp they wore burlap clothing and reenacted the exodus from Egypt. They baked matzot, and by mistake they also ‘baked’ our little Neriya. We spent almost half a year in the hospital’s ICU and another year in rehab. Today Neriya is already married and a father, but at the time the suffering he bore was impossible to describe. Today I say, the same G-d Who saved us with Hallel and with Neriya, He will save Yehuda and make him healthy. This doesn’t, for a moment, take away the pain and the difficulty, but burned into my experience with Hashem is the knowledge that after every disaster the redemption follows. It’s my existential experience.
Interviewer: Alongside your thanks, don’t you also feel anger about all the challenges and troubles which Hashem drops on you?
YG: I won’t tell you that I didn’t have moments like that, but my world view says that we have a Father who is good and does good for us, and Who wants the best for me and the best for my family, and saves us from all our troubles.
Interviewer: But He is also the One who creates those troubles which He then saves you from.
YG: “I don’t busy myself with those questions, because I wouldn’t be arrogant enough to answer them. We don’t see the entire picture. When the puzzle isn’t complete, we only see part of it. I know that Hashem knows better than me what is good for me in particular, because He is the One Who created me. After the fact, I can tell you that each difficult challenge I have faced in my life has made me grow and blossom.
“And I believe that Yehuda will come out of this. I believe that Hashem will save us this time as well.”
After I posted this article, I heard this amazing news…B”H, yesterday (Tuesday) Yehuda Glick woke up and is breathing on his own and communicating. Doctors are optimistic that he will fully recover. One of his first requests after waking up: chocolate mousse:)