Manya Shochat – Jewish Wonder Woman

Manya Vilboshvitz Shochat (1879 – 1960) was more than a product of her times, she helped create them.

Born in Losusna, a small village in rural Belarus, Manya was immediately subject to sharply different influences.maya shonet
Her grand parents lived the “good life” as totally assimilated, self indulging Jews who lived the “Russian dream”, her grandfather a major supplier for the Czar’s army. Manya recalls detesting their flaunted riches and their airs. Indeed her father rebelled against his parents by refusing to attend the fine Russian “Gymnasium”. He threatened suicide if he was not allowed to study with Rav Nachum, a pious Torah scholar in the shtetel near his parents’ sprawling estate.
He was a stern parent but Manya recalls how he would stay up all night with her when she was ill. He instilled Manya and some of her other twelve siblings with a love for the Jewish People and the Land of Israel. He was also, oddly perhaps, a Monarchist and had a portrait of Czar Nicholas on his wall. Not a common site in Orthodox Jewish homes but her father valued order and respect. She remembers her father hiding a gypsy, accused of being a horse thief. At his instruction, Manya brought food to him as he hid in their barn. When she asked her father why they were helping a criminal, he said, “I know him since we were boys. We can not be certain what is right and what is wrong. Only God can.” Her love for people and the desire to help came from this man of contradiction but principal.
Manya’s mother was a “modern” woman who did not share her husband’s warm spot for Judaism and tried to steer her children towards a respectable place amongst the Russian elite.

Her father, Wolf owned lands which were farmed by the local peasants. Manya befriended them and tried her best to be “one of the gang”, often bringing them goodies from her comfortable home. One particular young man, Pieter was her “best buddy” in the group – or so she thought.
Once as she approached the workers’ cabins, she over heard her “friend” boast to his buddies that he is using his friendship with Manya the Zhid, to eventually” burn down her father’s house and take all his lands, just as was being done to Jews- Zhids like him in other parts of Russia….”
Manya’s heart skipped a beat. She ran home, locked the door to her room and swallowed a bottle of pills. She did not want to live in a world of senseless hatred. She asked God why Jews are hated – rich or poor… She was saved from this suicide attempt only to try again by jumping into the near by icy river. Again she was fated to

Suicide was not to be a stranger to her family.
Her families were indeed doers – often to the extreme. As father rebelled against his own wealthy and assimilated father.. Some of her siblings became capitalist industrialists, some Communist revolutionaries; one brother became a “Tolstoyist” and lived with the peasants.
One brother, Yitzhok, was the only Jew in an agriculture college. When the professor opined that the “Zhids” are sucking the blood out of the Ukraine, Yitzchok slapped him. This did not advance his grades.. He joined the BILU pioneer movement and went to Eretz Yisroel.
He however, returned to Russia to do his military service. He wanted to prove that Jews are not shirkers. When he discovered that his lover betrayed him, he ended his own life.
One brother moved to the USA and died childless. Two brothers made Akiah and became Zionist pioneers. Their letters home enchanted Manya.

During the great famine of 1898, Manya volunteered with the starving and disease ridden Tarter population living on agricultural collectives. She was always ready to help – everyone, any where.

Manya chose to leave the comfort of the country manor and the disappointment of her “friend” Pieter to work as a factory laborer. She disguised her self as a boy and found employment in her brother’s factory in Grodno. It was there, in the big city where she came into contact with the proletariat and their wretched working conditions at the beginning of the industrial age in Russia. She shared her food and tiny room with the less fortunate and tutored the uneducated.

She became a leader in the Socialist Jewish Bund but later felt it was not militant or clearly focused enough one hand, and not traditionally Jewish or Zionist either.
Manya organized the workers in a strike against the management (her brother) for better conditions and for an end to the fourteen hour work day.
She became a leader in the Worker’s movement, a rather dangerous activity in the Russia of the Czars. She indeed landed in a tiny, dirty jail, which she shared with rats which she recalls she treated like friendly house cats. Jail could not break her.

She did not cooperate with her interrogators and was not fazed by the threat of Siberian exile. However, when she was told that she had to choose between turning in three fellow revolutionaries of having forty workers sent to Siberia.. she contemplated suicide.
The Minister of Interior, Zubatov was impressed with this young woman and tried to convince her to abandon revolutionary politics in favor of a state acknowledged labor movement. Manya, First very suspicious, would not cooperate. However she relented when Zubatov convinced her that he too does not like the way things were going and said that change can come gradually if labor and politics were not mixed. He believed that the leaders of the Communist movement, if they came to power, would oppress the workers even more than the Czar.
Manya had an ideological love / hate with him.
Suspecting him of treachery, she invited him to a private meeting. Manya pointed a gun at him and he told her, “If I have lost your trust, I do not want to live”. She pulled the trigger but the gun jammed.

Eventually the openly anti Semitic Von Phleve, was appointed minister of the interior and Zobotov was sent to Siberia. Now the gloves came off and government sponsored pogroms were instigated allowing the masses to “let off some steam” on the traditional target.
The 1903 Kishinev pogrom sponsored by the “Black Hundreds” was the ultimate expression of the slogan,” strike the Jews and save Russia”
Before Zobotov’s exile, he suggested that Manya see Von Phleve in Saint Petersberg, as the worker’s representative. She was seen through twelve guarded halls before she was ushered into the Minister’s lavish chambers. Manya addressed the questions of worker’s conditions, hours etc.. When she raised the Jewish issue Von Phleve exploded!
How could you, a Jewess come before me with demands!? Manya knew there was no chance for dialogue or justice with this man. She picked up a heavy object and prepared to throw it at him. A guard’s quick grip saved her from a fateful act.
The 1903 Kishinev pogroms convinced Manya that her priority in Russia was to defend her fellow Jews and not lead a social revolution.

Manya joined a group of Jewish conspirators planning to assassinate the anti Semitic Minister. She left for France on a mission to raise funds for the plan which included tunneling under his mansion and blowing it up. While away her comrades were betrayed by a government provocateur, caught and executed. Manya’s brothers felt they must get their determined little sister away from Russia and Europe. They made up the excuse that her brother Gedalya, a pioneer in Palestine, was ill and needed Manya’s help.

On June 2,1904, Manya made her first trip to Eretz Yisroel – a trip that would change her life.
Manya remembers that the moment she stepped foot on to the soil of Eretz Yisroel, she regretted every day of her life that she had not spent in the home land. Her efforts to change Russia and save its masses and Jews were now behind her. She had very her own land to bring back to life
.
Meanwhile her brother Biyomin died in the USA and left an inheritance. Manya and her two pioneer brothers used the money for a six week survey of the Land. It took them to the Golan Heights and beyond, to the Haran plateau where some of the lands had been purchased for Jewish settlement.
Manya was amazed by the emptiness of the vast area and how time had seemed to stand still, just waiting for her children to return to a place kept alive in the hearts of a people who never forgot.

Unbeknown to her, Manya was part of the “Second Aliyah”(1905- 1920) wave to Eretz Yisrol in the Zionist narrative. (The actual first wave o “Olim” to Eretz Yisroel was a century earlier when the Bal Shem Tov and the Violna Goan sen their students to Eretz Yisroel. Some of them founded the first agricultural settlements and owns as well as new neighborhoods in Yerusalayim)
Her Aliyah was comprised of young single people like herself, mostly from Russia, Socialist, rebellious and scornful of tradition. These young people were desperate to work the land and create a new society based on self reliance and mutual aid. They believed in Jewish labor and Jewish defence. These were concepts foreign to the “First Aliyah”(1889 – 1905) settlers who came as families and settled lands largely bought by Baron Edmond Rothchild of Paris.
He sent his representatives to aid and over see the farmers on the lands that he purchased. Relations between the Baron’s representatives were often strained as they lorded themselves over the struggling and beholden pioneers and their families. The French advisors and over seers introduced secular education and a life style foreign to the observant farmers from Eastern Europe.
The young Olim of the second Aliyah were at times on the brink of starvation. They sought work on the Jewish farms for food and board. They slept in the orchards and ate oranges and pita bread.

In the Baron’s settlements, the Jewish farmers hired cheap Arab labor and Bedouin or Circassian guards to protect their property. Often it was a thinly veiled protection racket which the young new comers unmasked and challenged. When Manya approached them with the idea of Jewish self defense and hired labor they thought it so absurd that she was suspected of being a spy for the Baron’s clerks. Some even thought she may have really been a man disguised…

Frustrated, in 1905 Manya decided to travel to Europe to see the Baron and other Jewish/Zionist leaders.
Max Nordau, Herzl’s associate, told her to seek the aid of a psychiatrist.
She had an audience with Baron Rothschild who did agree to set aside land for the young pioneers but with no additional support. Manya was delighted. It wasn’t much later that the first collective farm was established in 1909.
While in France, Manya was contacted by some of her old comrades.
There were big troubles in Russia. Pogroms against the Jews were increasing and her friends decided to arm the Jews and defend themselves. Hey need arms and money. Could Manya help? While her mission was about Jews in Eretz Yisroel, she could not ignore the pleas of her suffering people in Russia.
Manya returned to Baron Rothschild with a new and different request. The Baron
insisted that he could not be mixed up in a possible French – Russian diplomatic confrontation. Manya would not take no for an answer. She returned to make another plea. Rothschild agreed on the condition that it remained a sealed secret. He then gave 50,000 Francs which went to buy the arms to be smuggled into Russia.
Eight crates of “holy books” crossed four borders to a pre arranged address in Odessa. When Manya arrived she was met by a man who Manya immediately understood was a police agent. She coolly ended the short meeting with a well placed bullet. The agent’s remains were shipped in the crate labeled “holy books” to a non existent destination.

In 1907 Manya traveled to the USA in search of support, both for Jewish self defense in Russia and in Eretz |Yisroel and for Jewish collective settlement there.
Some of the leaders she met such as Judah Magnes, Henrietta Szold were not as enthusiastic.
While in the US, Manya lived on a commune in upstate NY,in an attempt to learn from a living social- economic experiment. She reached out to the Jewish masses in an attempt to spread her fired spirit.
She returned to her newly adopted land with an even greater determination.
Along with Yitzchak Shochat and other like minded pioneers, she founded “Bar Giora”, named after one of the Jewish leaders in the revolt against Rome before the destruction of the Second Temple. It was the first official (yet underground, since the ruling Turks strictly ruled out the option Jews being armed) Jewish self defense group for centuries.
Manya was befriended by many who would later comprise the first leaders of the newly born Jewish state, such as Yitzchak (and Yanai) Ben Zvi who was the second president of Israel. Ben Zvi gave her an even deeper deeper appreciation of Jewish history and destiny in its Land. At one point Manya suggested robbing the churches in Jerusalem of their gold to support the activities of the armed Jewish group.
On Pesach 1909,”Bar Giora” became the”Hashomer” group. It widened its ranks and its slogan,” In blood Judea fell, in blood she shall rise” was translated into bold and unexpected raids on Arab marauders and raiders of Jewish farms and transportation. Now Jewish farmer began to hire them as workers /guards and their presence won the desired effect. They learned the Bedouin ways and dressed like them as they challenged them on their own turf.

With the out break of the First World War, Turkey outlawed Zionist activity, forbade speaking or teaching Hebrew and confiscated all weapons. Hasomer went into hiding.
Manya was imprisoned when she was betrayed by a Jew who feared Turkish reprisals. When she honestly and matter of factly told the Turkish governor, Baladin of her hopes for a Jewish country, he exploded ; “what, a state within a state”!? When he threatened her with her fists. Manya picked up a dagger and threw it at his feet calling him a hateful person and a coward.
The Shochats (Yitschak had married Manya) were expelled from Eretz Yisroel and returned after the war in 1919 to a new reality. Great Britain was the new over lord of Eretz Yisroel. Hashomer was to become the larger Hagana and then Irgun spinned off from that. Manya no longer kept the position of founder and trail blazer. Times were changing and there were many new players. There seemed to be fewer places for a knaive idealist.
Her marriage was not a happy one and so dedicated herself wholly to her public activities. In 1930 she founded the “League for Jewish Arab Friendship” – another unfulfilled love.
The couple had two children, Gadi and Alona.
Gadi took his own life in 1967.
When Ben Gurion praised her mother, Alona replied bitterly,”I was an orphan with parents. They were always busy with every important cause except us.”
Alona married the famous Israeli singer, Arik Einstein and their two daughters became observant Jews and married the sons of the famous bohemian actor – singer (turned famous Rabbi) Uri Zohar.
Manya died in 1962 and Alona in 2005.

Manya may not have won the award for mom of the year but she was certainly one of the mid wives of a nation.

Shochat – Jewish Wonder Woman

Manya Vilboshvitz Shochat (1879 – 1960) was more than a product of her times, she helped create them.

Born in Losusna, a small village in rural Belarus, Manya was immediately subject to sharply different influences.
Her grand parents lived the “good life” as totally assimilated, self indulging Jews who lived the “Russian dream”, her grandfather a major supplier for the Czar’s army. Manya recalls detesting their flaunted riches and their airs. Indeed her father rebelled against his parents by refusing to attend the fine Russian “Gymnasium”. He threatened suicide if he was not allowed to study with Rav Nachum, a pious Torah scholar in the shtetel near his parents’ sprawling estate.
He was a stern parent but Manya recalls how he would stay up all night with her when she was ill. He instilled Manya and some of her other twelve siblings with a love for the Jewish People and the Land of Israel. He was also, oddly perhaps, a Monarchist and had a portrait of Czar Nicholas on his wall. Not a common site in Orthodox Jewish homes but her father valued order and respect. She remembers her father hiding a gypsy, accused of being a horse thief. At his instruction, Manya brought food to him as he hid in their barn. When she asked her father why they were helping a criminal, he said, “I know him since we were boys. We can not be certain what is right and what is wrong. Only God can.” Her love for people and the desire to help came from this man of contradiction but principal.
Manya’s mother was a “modern” woman who did not share her husband’s warm spot for Judaism and tried to steer her children towards a respectable place amongst the Russian elite.

Her father, Wolf owned lands which were farmed by the local peasants. Manya befriended them and tried her best to be “one of the gang”, often bringing them goodies from her comfortable home. One particular young man, Pieter was her “best buddy” in the group – or so she thought.
Once as she approached the workers’ cabins, she over heard her “friend” boast to his buddies that he is using his friendship with Manya the Zhid, to eventually” burn down her father’s house and take all his lands, just as was being done to Jews- Zhids like him in other parts of Russia….”
Manya’s heart skipped a beat. She ran home, locked the door to her room and swallowed a bottle of pills. She did not want to live in a world of senseless hatred. She asked God why Jews are hated – rich or poor… She was saved from this suicide attempt only to try again by jumping into the near by icy river. Again she was fated to

Suicide was not to be a stranger to her family.
Her families were indeed doers – often to the extreme. As father rebelled against his own wealthy and assimilated father.. Some of her siblings became capitalist industrialists, some Communist revolutionaries; one brother became a “Tolstoyist” and lived with the peasants.
One brother, Yitzhok, was the only Jew in an agriculture college. When the professor opined that the “Zhids” are sucking the blood out of the Ukraine, Yitzchok slapped him. This did not advance his grades.. He joined the BILU pioneer movement and went to Eretz Yisroel.
He however, returned to Russia to do his military service. He wanted to prove that Jews are not shirkers. When he discovered that his lover betrayed him, he ended his own life.
One brother moved to the USA and died childless. Two brothers made Akiah and became Zionist pioneers. Their letters home enchanted Manya.

During the great famine of 1898, Manya volunteered with the starving and disease ridden Tarter population living on agricultural collectives. She was always ready to help – everyone, any where.

Manya chose to leave the comfort of the country manor and the disappointment of her “friend” Pieter to work as a factory laborer. She disguised her self as a boy and found employment in her brother’s factory in Grodno. It was there, in the big city where she came into contact with the proletariat and their wretched working conditions at the beginning of the industrial age in Russia. She shared her food and tiny room with the less fortunate and tutored the uneducated.

She became a leader in the Socialist Jewish Bund but later felt it was not militant or clearly focused enough one hand, and not traditionally Jewish or Zionist either.
Manya organized the workers in a strike against the management (her brother) for better conditions and for an end to the fourteen hour work day.
She became a leader in the Worker’s movement, a rather dangerous activity in the Russia of the Czars. She indeed landed in a tiny, dirty jail, which she shared with rats which she recalls she treated like friendly house cats. Jail could not break her.

She did not cooperate with her interrogators and was not fazed by the threat of Siberian exile. However, when she was told that she had to choose between turning in three fellow revolutionaries of having forty workers sent to Siberia.. she contemplated suicide.
The Minister of Interior, Zubatov was impressed with this young woman and tried to convince her to abandon revolutionary politics in favor of a state acknowledged labor movement. Manya, First very suspicious, would not cooperate. However she relented when Zubatov convinced her that he too does not like the way things were going and said that change can come gradually if labor and politics were not mixed. He believed that the leaders of the Communist movement, if they came to power, would oppress the workers even more than the Czar.
Manya had an ideological love / hate with him.
Suspecting him of treachery, she invited him to a private meeting. Manya pointed a gun at him and he told her, “If I have lost your trust, I do not want to live”. She pulled the trigger but the gun jammed.

Eventually the openly anti Semitic Von Phleve, was appointed minister of the interior and Zobotov was sent to Siberia. Now the gloves came off and government sponsored pogroms were instigated allowing the masses to “let off some steam” on the traditional target.
The 1903 Kishinev pogrom sponsored by the “Black Hundreds” was the ultimate expression of the slogan,” strike the Jews and save Russia”
Before Zobotov’s exile, he suggested that Manya see Von Phleve in Saint Petersberg, as the worker’s representative. She was seen through twelve guarded halls before she was ushered into the Minister’s lavish chambers. Manya addressed the questions of worker’s conditions, hours etc.. When she raised the Jewish issue Von Phleve exploded!
How could you, a Jewess come before me with demands!? Manya knew there was no chance for dialogue or justice with this man. She picked up a heavy object and prepared to throw it at him. A guard’s quick grip saved her from a fateful act.
The 1903 Kishinev pogroms convinced Manya that her priority in Russia was to defend her fellow Jews and not lead a social revolution.

Manya joined a group of Jewish conspirators planning to assassinate the anti Semitic Minister. She left for France on a mission to raise funds for the plan which included tunneling under his mansion and blowing it up. While away her comrades were betrayed by a government provocateur, caught and executed. Manya’s brothers felt they must get their determined little sister away from Russia and Europe. They made up the excuse that her brother Gedalya, a pioneer in Palestine, was ill and needed Manya’s help.

On June 2, 1904, Manya made her first trip to Eretz Yisroel – a trip that would change her life.
Manya remembers that the moment she stepped foot on to the soil of Eretz Yisroel, she regretted every day of her life that she had not spent in the home land. Her efforts to change Russia and save its masses and Jews were now behind her. She had very her own land to bring back to life
.
Meanwhile her brother Biyomin died in the USA and left an inheritance. Manya and her two pioneer brothers used the money for a six week survey of the Land. It took them to the Golan Heights and beyond, to the Haran plateau where some of the lands had been purchased for Jewish settlement.
Manya was amazed by the emptiness of the vast area and how time had seemed to stand still, just waiting for her children to return to a place kept alive in the hearts of a people who never forgot.

Unbeknown to her, Manya was part of the “Second Aliyah”(1905- 1920) wave to Eretz Yisrol in the Zionist narrative. (The actual first wave o “Olim” to Eretz Yisroel was a century earlier when the Bal Shem Tov and the Violna Goan sen their students to Eretz Yisroel. Some of them founded the first agricultural settlements and owns as well as new neighborhoods in Yerusalayim)
Her Aliyah was comprised of young single people like herself, mostly from Russia, Socialist, rebellious and scornful of tradition. These young people were desperate to work the land and create a new society based on self reliance and mutual aid. They believed in Jewish labor and Jewish defence. These were concepts foreign to the “First Aliyah”(1889 – 1905) settlers who came as families and settled lands largely bought by Baron Edmond Rothchild of Paris.
He sent his representatives to aid and over see the farmers on the lands that he purchased. Relations between the Baron’s representatives were often strained as they lorded themselves over the struggling and beholden pioneers and their families. The French advisors and over seers introduced secular education and a life style foreign to the observant farmers from Eastern Europe.
The young Olim of the second Aliyah were at times on the brink of starvation. They sought work on the Jewish farms for food and board. They slept in the orchards and ate oranges and pita bread.

In the Baron’s settlements, the Jewish farmers hired cheap Arab labor and Bedouin or Circassian guards to protect their property. Often it was a thinly veiled protection racket which the young new comers unmasked and challenged. When Manya approached them with the idea of Jewish self defense and hired labor they thought it so absurd that she was suspected of being a spy for the Baron’s clerks. Some even thought she may have really been a man disguised…

Frustrated, in 1905 Manya decided to travel to Europe to see the Baron and other Jewish/Zionist leaders.
Max Nordau, Herzl’s associate, told her to seek the aid of a psychiatrist.
She had an audience with Baron Rothschild who did agree to set aside land for the young pioneers but with no additional support. Manya was delighted. It wasn’t much later that the first collective farm was established in 1909.
While in France, Manya was contacted by some of her old comrades.
There were big troubles in Russia. Pogroms against the Jews were increasing and her friends decided to arm the Jews and defend themselves. Hey need arms and money. Could Manya help? While her mission was about Jews in Eretz Yisroel, she could not ignore the pleas of her suffering people in Russia.
Manya returned to Baron Rothschild with a new and different request. The Baron
insisted that he could not be mixed up in a possible French – Russian diplomatic confrontation. Manya would not take no for an answer. She returned to make another plea. Rothschild agreed on the condition that it remained a sealed secret. He then gave 50,000 Francs which went to buy the arms to be smuggled into Russia.
Eight crates of “holy books” crossed four borders to a pre arranged address in Odessa. When Manya arrived she was met by a man who Manya immediately understood was a police agent. She coolly ended the short meeting with a well placed bullet. The agent’s remains were shipped in the crate labeled “holy books” to a non existent destination.

In 1907 Manya traveled to the USA in search of support, both for Jewish self defense in Russia and in Eretz |Yisroel and for Jewish collective settlement there.
Some of the leaders she met such as Judah Magnes, Henrietta Szold were not as enthusiastic.
While in the US, Manya lived on a commune in upstate NY,in an attempt to learn from a living social- economic experiment. She reached out to the Jewish masses in an attempt to spread her fired spirit.
She returned to her newly adopted land with an even greater determination.
Along with Yisroel Shochat and other like minded pioneers, she founded “Bar Giora”, named after one of the Jewish leaders in the revolt against Rome before the destruction of the Second Temple. It was the first official (yet underground, since the ruling Turks strictly ruled out the option Jews being armed) Jewish self defense group for centuries.
Manya was befriended by many who would later comprise the first leaders of the newly born Jewish state, such as Yitzchak (and Yanai) Ben Zvi who was the second president of Israel. Ben Zvi gave her an even deeper deeper appreciation of Jewish history and destiny in its Land. At one point Manya suggested robbing the churches in Jerusalem of their gold to support the activities of the armed Jewish group.
On Pesach 1909,”Bar Giora” became the”Hashomer” group. It widened its ranks and its slogan,” In blood Judea fell, in blood she shall rise” was translated into bold and unexpected raids on Arab marauders and raiders of Jewish farms and transportation. Now Jewish farmer began to hire them as workers /guards and their presence won the desired effect. They learned the Bedouin ways and dressed like them as they challenged them on their own turf.

With the out break of the First World War, Turkey outlawed Zionist activity, forbade speaking or teaching Hebrew and confiscated all weapons. Hasomer went into hiding.
Manya was imprisoned when she was betrayed by a Jew who feared Turkish reprisals. When she honestly and matter of factly told the Turkish governor, Baladin of her hopes for a Jewish country, he exploded; “what, a state within a state”!? and threatened her with her fists. Manya picked up a dagger and threw it at his feet calling him a hateful person and a coward.
The Shochats (Yisroel had married Manya) were expelled from Eretz Yisroel and returned after the war in 1919 to a new reality. Great Britain was the new over lord of Eretz Yisroel. Hashomer was to become the larger Hagana and then Irgun spinned off from that. Manya no longer kept the position of founder and trail blazer. Times were changing and there were many new players. There seemed to be fewer places for a knaive idealist.
Her marriage was not a happy one and so dedicated herself wholly to her public activities. In 1930 she founded the “League for Jewish Arab Friendship” – another unfulfilled love.
Manya and Yitzchak had two children, Gadi and Alona. Gady took his own life in 1967 and Alona died in 2005
When Ben Gurion complimented Alona on her heroic mother, she responded,” I was an orphan with parents. They were always busy with great causes but not with us.
Alona married the famous Israeli singer icon (who passed away this year) Arik Einstein and had two daughters. They both became religious and married the sons of Rabbi Uri Zohar. Uri Zohar was a friend of Einstein’s when they were a famous entertainment duo.
Perhaps Alona was right about her mother. Manya was not a typical Jewish mother, she was one of the mid wives of a Nation.

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