Photo Credit: courtesy, Hadassah Medical Center
Waving to his father in the coronavirus ward at Hadassah Medical Center

A 20-year-old Hasid set to marry his betrothed Sunday found unexpected assistance this weekend when faced with the heartbreaking challenge of how to make the walk to the wedding canopy without his beloved father, who has been hospitalized in critical condition since September with COVID-19.

The young chatan’s father is hospitalized in critical condition with COVID-19 at Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center; not the most cheerful of circumstances and in this case an exceptionally difficult situation when the global pandemic already trims what should be a celebration of friends and family down to the bare minimum.

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The 56-year-old father, cared for in the specialized coronavirus ward at Hadassah since September, and clearly could not leave to join the ceremony.

But the family, who belong to the Gur Hasidic sect, turned to the Yad Avraham organization, which works extensively in collaboration with Hadassah Medical Center, with a special request: would it be possible for the chatan and kallah (groom and bride) to marry under the father’s window?

After hospital management explained there would be a limit on the number of participants in accordance with the Health Ministry guidelines and a requirement to wear masks, the family immediately accepted all conditions, and kept them throughout the event, according to hospital spokesperson Hadar Boim.

“All personnel, starting with the security, operations, communication and construction department staff began to plan the event. When we located a place which the father could see directly from his bed in the ward, it was clear that this was the spot to erect the chuppah (wedding canopy),” Boim said.

“The Yad Avraham organization and our staff acted quickly to allow the wedding to take place, and this afternoon we all wept as the chatan waved to his father with emotion from the chuppah. The father was present at the chuppah from a distance, watching from his bed with the ward staff, and Yad Avraham volunteers were rejoicing beside him as he heard the blessings.

“The small family had very special and moving moments; no eye was dry when the family sent congratulations by microphone on their father’s recovery.”

During the event, held in accordance with all Health Ministry guidelines, only the members of the immediate family were present. All the staff members of the hospital watched from the windows of their offices and departments, and applauded as the wedding was concluded.

“Only at Hadassah can such exciting events happen,” said Hadassah CEO, Professor Ze’ev Rothstein. “The opportunity to enable the father to watch and attend his son’s wedding, especially when he is so very ill, is an unforgettable moment, an example and role model that shows the dedication and well-known humanity of the people at Hadassah,” he said.

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