In Memoriam of:

Shoshana Karsanti

Age: 86

In Loving Memory of the Innocent Souls Taken Too Soon. United in peace, their light shines on in the hearts left behind. October 7, 2023, a day of sorrow, but their memories guide us toward a hopeful tomorrow.

Shoshana Karsanti was born on November 30, 1937 in Buenos Aires, the first daughter of her parents, Bluma and Ephraim Smolvicich. When she was four, her mother died giving birth to her younger sister, Rana. The family was caught in a crisis. Shoshana's father was unable to function, and Shoshana was sent along with her little sister to a Jewish orphanage in Buenos Aires. The orphanage was a cold, alienated and sad place. 12 girls lived in each room, in the dining room they ate sitting on stiff wooden benches. Shoshana said that at the age of five she looked at the sky and realized that it was empty, empty of God. She carried this insight in her heart ever since.

The only bright spot was the vacations they took every year in the city of Córdoba, where the girls experienced happiness and laughter, and especially, Shoshana remembered, picked and ate sweet fruits. For Shoshana, the other bright spot was Rena, her little sister. Although thier mother died tragically, Rana (Ruthy) was and remains Shoshana's closest friend throughout her life, until Rana's death five years ago.

At the orphanage, Rena used to protect Shoshana with the strength of her arm even though she was smaller than her. When she was only 12 years old, Shoshana left the orphanage and started working. She joined a Jewish youth movement, and at the age of 15 immigrated to Israel with the Jewish Agency, integrated into a boarding school and began learning Hebrew. At the age of 18, she arrived at Kibbutz Ein Hasholsha in the north of the Negev. There she met Eli Karsanti and married him. The couple had two children, Mayana in 1958 and Moti in 1961, but about a decade later they divorced. Eli, 93 years old, was saved from the inferno in Kibbutz Be'eri.

After her marriage, Shoshana studied for a bachelor's degree in education at Oranim College, and in addition studied art at the Avni Institute. During most of her years she worked as an art teacher at the elementary school in the kibbutz, a job she loved with all her heart. She even painted herself, paintings in an abstract and figurative style that were often shown in exhibitions in Tel Aviv. The painter Yehezkel Streichman came to see her paintings, and the artist Menashe Kadishman loved her very much.

Shoshana's second love was reading. She used to sit and read for hours and hours - the TV at home was often not working. She preferred books from which one could learn something, especially non-fiction and art books. One of her favorites was a 1,000-page book on Picasso. Shoshana was a broad-minded woman in every respect. Besides Hebrew, she spoke four languages that she learned herself - French, English, Spanish and German - and you could talk to her about any subject in the world, except for politics, which she hated.

Shoshana came to Be'eri seven years ago to be close to Mayana, her eldest daughter, who was also killed, along with her husband, Noah Hershokovitz. Mayana took care of Shoshana herself; Only in the last two years has a nanny come to her for a few hours a day. Shoshana received warmth and love from the lovely kibbutz members, who gave her social and emotional support from the day she arrived. The friends saw her as a gentle and pleasant woman, who walked the paths of the kibbutz with a smile on her face. Shoshana was active in Be'eri's seniors' club and greatly enjoyed the lectures and any activity that enriched her and added to her knowledge.

Throughout the years she continued to draw and create. An announcement about her latest exhibition at the gallery in Kibbutz Be'eri reads: "On Shabbat, 'Butterfly's Wing' will open, an exhibition of paintings by Shoshana Karsenti, which presents her memories as a child in a Jewish orphanage in Buenos Aires. Karsenti attached to the exhibition scrolls of texts, one of which reads: 'At the time of the cold awakening And the gray one, when she was still drowsy, would see with her eyes closed a room flooded with multicolored lights. Her transparent hand became a glowing butterfly's wing.''

Shoshana felt a sense of security around her, and knew how to contain difficulties and stubbornness well. One of the phrases that characterized her was "don't worry, everything is fine". As a girl who grew up in an orphanage in difficult conditions, she accepted everything in her adulthood with joy and a smile, she didn't think she deserved more. Always said thank you, never complained. She wouldn't hurt a fly. She was modest and humble. The great light in her life was her grandchildren: Ella, Amit and Tamir, Mayana's children; and Opal, Alon, and Lehi, Moti's children. In addition, she got to see seven great-grandchildren, who brought her great happiness. She was an active and involved grandmother, an active partner in raising her grandchildren. She especially loved teaching them and sharing her vast knowledge with them. Shoshana raised generations of children on the love of art and the importance of creation, and this love stuck with them and remained engraved in their hearts.

A childhood friend of Moti's son said after the Black Sabbath in Be'eri that to this day he keeps a menorah that he created in one of the art classes taught by Shoshana. She knew how to delegate her love of art to others, and made the children and people around her love and explore art and literature. Shoshana's full life, during which she gave inspiration and love to so many, teaches us about her tremendous mental strength and her ability to grow out of difficulty, to be even in the dark a bright butterfly wing.

Shoshana's life was cut short in the kibbutz she loved. She will be brought to eternal rest in Ein Hashlosha, in the land of the Negev that was the pattern of the landscape of her life, the pattern of the landscape of her love. The inspiration she ennobled us, her illuminating smile, will always remain in our hearts.

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Remembrances of Shoshana Karsanti

A life beautifully lived deserves to be beautifully remembered.

Here we celebrate the memories, the joys, and the life of Shoshana Karsanti.