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A letter to Shifchatyah

Dear Shifchatyah,

Recently I saw several letters of yours signed “Chassidah Markeli.” Looking at that beautiful picture of you as a five-year-old and the little fawn, you certainly look like a Chassidah!


Shifchatyah at age 5, whose legal name is Chassidah.

But to me you are Shifchatyah because that is how your sister spoke of you whenever she and I talked about you in the Vista Yellow Deli — and that was often. Tsel Shaddai loved and missed you so much.

I felt like I came to know you through her. Seeing your letters and how well you expressed yourself was no surprise to me. The love you have for your parents is a shining light in the dark place you are in. And the love and care they have shown you should convict the world of how parents should raise children.

The reason I am writing you, though, is to tell you how your letter to Judge R. — through your lawyer — affected me. Or, how to put it? — the thought I had about you as I read it. Certainly, it made me give thanks and pray for you. That’s’ first.

But second, I saw this: you are just like the widow in Luke 18:1-8. Our Master was looking ahead to you when He told His disciples they ought to pray at all times and not lose heart. There you are beseeching the judge for what she ought to give, which is justice. She ought to return you to your parents, Boas and Shua.


Shifchatyah, Rea, a friend, and Shua, her Imma, in happier times, at Klosterzimmern.

We are with you, Shifchatyah, crying out to our Father day and night on your behalf. He hears us and He will deliver you. That is the faith He has placed in our hearts — and yours. What He “bears long with us” means, I don’t know. I am hoping and longing that it is not much longer!

Your new friend,

Soreph Gamaliel

P.S.   Shifchatyah, you are a hero to all of us. Be brave. We love you so much! This morning we heard love can never be defeated. This is our hope: LOVE.