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Double Brachah

Brachi Zeivald

Twin brothers born 20 minutes apart, married twin sisters born 20 minutes apart — and had daughters, 20 minutes apart. This week, the babies turn one

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

double

Twin brothers Niv and Ron Cohen with Niv’s daughter Faigy and Ron’s daughter Shaindy (Photos: Menachem Kalish)

The picturesque town of Yavne’el, in the Lower Galilee, is one of the oldest rural Jewish communities in Israel. Known fondly as “Breslov City,” it’s home to hundreds of families who adhere to the teachings of Rav Eliezer Shlomo Shick ztz”l. 

“There’s a special kedushah here,” says Blimi Fish, who leads me through the streets of Yavne’el with the expertise of a veteran resident. The energetic mother of three invites me into her home to meet her twin daughters, Leah and Rivky, and her granddaughters, who made headlines around the world in July 2015. 

On 3 Av, Leah gave birth to a baby girl, Faigy, in the afternoon. Twenty minutes later, her sister Rivky gave birth to a baby girl, Shaindy. The timing was uncanny since Leah and Rivky themselves were born 20 minutes apart. And there’s more: Leah and Rivky are married to identical twin brothers, Niv and Ron, who were born… 20 minutes apart.

Cousins Faigy and Shaindy smile for the camera

The media flooded the hospital when they heard about the miraculous timing of the births. “We received interview requests from all over the world: from a newspaper in Romania, the German media, a Yiddish newspaper, The Tribune, leading newspapers in Israel, and others,” says Leah, who sits on a striped corner couch next to her sister Rivky. “We had no privacy after birth. It was difficult because I wanted my husband by my side, but he was busy with interviews for the media… I let him do it because I knew that it would make a kiddush Hashem.” 

And indeed it did. Blimi tells me about a recent visit to Tel Aviv, where Rivky received a certificate for completing a makeup course. “A lady in the audience was a twin herself, and when we told her that Rivky is a twin who’s married to a twin and gave birth together with Leah’le, she remembered the story that was publicized in the media. She told us that her whole family was moved by the incredible Divine Providence.” 

Rivky shares a humorous story from her stay in the hospital. A few days after giving birth via cesarean, she visited the cafeteria and a woman said to her, “Did you hear about the twins who got married to twins and gave birth at the same time? Don’t you think that’s a ridiculous story? I can’t believe it.” 

Smiling at the woman, Rivky said, “That’s me. I’m a twin and my husband’s a twin, and my sister and I gave birth at the same time…” The woman looked at Rivky in shock, and after recovering, immediately asked to take a picture with her. 

As Blimi and her daughters speak, little Faigy and Shaindy are at their feet, babbling to each other. Despite being cousins, they look like twins. “They have a language that isn’t really understandable, but they make each other laugh,” says Blimi.

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