By Wednesday, two days after their widowed mother died from complications due to coronavirus, Israel’s citizens had donated more than NIS 1.8 million to newly orphaned 4-year-old twins from Lod.
Tamar Levy-Peretz, 49, lost her life late Monday night, three years after her husband, Shimon, passed away.
Shimon and Tamar had struggled to conceive, and he died a few months after their children were born.
“It’s crazy to see just how much people have come together, how much love we get, and how much people want to help these kids,” says Tamar’s niece, Mor Smadja. She has more thanks for Lod Mayor Yair Revivo for his aid in raising donations.
“It's hard,” says Smadja. “We're trying to see how we get past this nightmare to create a reality of routine and happiness for these kids - they are really the ones who are keeping us together.”
She says that when Shimon died, Tamar said she knew she had to remain strong for the sake of her children.
“Now we are doing the same,” says a teary Smadja. "We wipe away our tears and get up in the morning for their sake.”
“We took our time to tell them,” says Smadja about breaking the news to the children that their mother had died.
“We consulted several professionals and decided it was best to tell them in their own environment.”
For the last three weeks, the twins have lived with their aunt and uncle, who were the ones to tell them about their mother.
“We chose their aunt and uncle to be their parental figures and we didn’t hide anything from them,“ she says.
”We told them she’s in heaven now, and that she will watch over them from above. They knew what we meant immediately because they recognized it from when we talked about their dad.”
“We are a close knit family,” she says. “We are eight siblings with lots of cousins, all of whom grew up with Tamar. We are united in giving back to her children and they will want for nothing.”