Since the October 7th attacks, life has not been the same.
Being a Jewish, Israeli mother, who was supposed to be in Israel in October, I find it difficult to function; I keep thinking of all the souls that painfully perished due to this conflict. I have especially been thinking of Adi Vital-Kaploun, the Israeli-Canadian, with extended family here in Ottawa, who was brutally murdered by Hamas in her home. Adi is remembered as an incredible, humble, giving, loving, precious, and accomplished soul who died a hero- protecting her children and father until her last breath.
As I kept thinking of Adi, the image that came up was that of a lioness. The Torah mentions the lion's ferocity, it being the symbol of our people through Judah - but a lioness, particularly one that is protecting her cubs, as Adi did, is another force altogether. Adi sheltered her children, warned her father and husband, and pleaded with the terrorists to spare her kids' lives- by being a brave lioness, Adi saved all their lives. Unfortunately, I can't share news articles here, but the devastating story of her death and bravery can be found in the National Post.
In some ways, we are fortunate here in Ottawa to be in relative safety; and yet as a significant minority, as we observe the rise of hate crimes against Jews in a place we call home, we wake up every morning wondering what lies ahead of us. We, here in Ottawa must also remain strong, as we have an important role to play- we must keep going- as mothers and fathers we too must keep protecting our families and each other as we unite as a tribe. As a community, during these challenging times, we must stand strong with one another.
To honor Adi's bravery and give us a unique, Ottawa-based symbol of courage, I designed a print- of Adi and a lioness. Little did I know, that the printer- Irving Rivers (a long-standing Jewish Ottawa business in the Byward Market) is owned by Adi's first cousin.
Together, we are launching a fundraiser in her honor.
We are offering stickers, t-shirts, long-sleeve shirts, sweatshirts, and hoodies.
Please help support Adi's husband and their two boys as they rebuild and navigate life without her, embrace the lioness within, and give each other strength during these dark times, as we walk PROUDLY as Jews around Ottawa.