On Wednesday night, snowstorm Elpis hit Israel and stranded hundreds in the north of the country and the Jerusalem area as highways were closed due to heavy snowfall. A couple of newlyweds became stuck with hundreds of their guests in the Sequoia wedding hall in Kibbutz Ma’ale HaChamisha in the Judaean hills just off the Jerusalem–Tel Aviv highway.
The couple tried to find a way home and someone reached out to emergency services for help. United Hatzalah’s Dispatch Center received the alert did not hesitate to send volunteers in an emergency all-terrain vehicle to assist. Despite the heavy snowfall, the volunteers traveled from Jerusalem to Ma’aleh HaChamisha.
The guests escorted the couple with singing and dancing as they walked out to the United Hatzalah vehicle. The bride and groom got into the car and were delivered safely to their home in the Bayit VaGan neighborhood of Jerusalem to conclude the most momentous day of their lives (so far).
The Head of the United Hatzalah operations division, Moshiko Moskovitz, recalled: “As soon as we received the call about the bride and groom who are stuck at the wedding hall, I rushed out with the van to help. We felt that it was important to help the bride and groom and that this was no less important than saving lives, not to mention that it’s a great mitzvah to make a bride and groom happy on their wedding day. I was honored to be part of helping them on their special day.”
After the bride and groom were safely home, United Hatzalah volunteers expanded the rescue operation and were able to escort close to half the guests home from the wedding hall as well. “Most of the guests they helped were either elderly or families with babies and young children for whom it was very urgent to return to their homes,” Moskowitz noted.
The bride and groom could not stop thanking the volunteers for their kindness. “I have no words,” said the groom, “Thank you so, so much. We returned home to our apartment in Bayit VaGan thanks to you despite the heavy snow. It’s unbelievable what you did to help us. You are truly angels who came to our rescue.”