“Valley of Tears,” a 10-part Israeli TV series on the Yom Kippur War has generated renewed interest in the 1973 national trauma. HBO Max acquired world rights for the series, which focuses on the stories of four soldiers, was created by the Israel network Kan, and began airing on Oct. 19.

Despite the buzz, some viewers have lamented that the show, titled “Sha’at Ne’ila” in Hebrew, all but ignores the role of women during the war.

One such woman was Niva Shaul, who was among the 2,673 Israeli troops killed during the fighting.

Shaul was born in Mishmar Hanegev, a kibbutz in southern Israel that her parents helped found. “She was a quiet girl that always got her way, but did so quietly,” her mother said after the war in a special memorial film. “She loved to dance and sing, her friends loved her and she knew how to listen and dispense advice,” her mother continued.

In 1968, Shaul started serving in the Israel Defense Forces as a stenographer. During her service, she also met her partner, Benny, who was an aircraft maintenance technician, and following her discharge, they moved to central Israel. She would later start working at a travel agency that catered to tourists in Israel. “They were looking to move into a new apartment, but then the war broke out,” her mother said.

During the war, she was called into reserve duty because she had the much-needed telecommunications training. On the third day of the war, she joined a convoy that went toward the southern front in the Sinai. After arriving at the main IDF headquarters in Refidim, the convoy was attacked by a squadron of Egyptian MiGs

“She told me they were about to get married and fixed me a chocolate sandwich, and then the bombing began,” recalled Yair Yam, who served on the battalion she was embedded with during the war. She was laid to rest in her kibbutz, leaving behind two parents and two sisters. She was posthumously promoted.

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.

Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision

One of the most intriguing stories of the sudden Coronavirus crisis is the role of the internet. With individuals forced into home quarantine, most are turning further online for information, education and social interaction.

JNS's influence and readership are growing exponentially, and our positioning sets us apart. Most Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas. JNS is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

During this crisis, JNS continues working overtime. We are being relied upon to tell the story of this crisis as it affects Israel and the global Jewish community, and explain the extraordinary political developments taking place in parallel.

Our ability to thrive in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters. Monthly donations in particular go a long way in helping us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make during these challenging times. We thank you for your ongoing support and wish you blessings for good health and peace of mind.