President and Founder of United Hatzalah Eli Beer recently returned from the United States where he was hospitalized after having contracted the Covid-19 Coronavirus. Eli had been intubated and sedated for more than 30 days and completely missed the holiday of Pesach.
When Eli awoke from his induced coma, a miraculous event in of itself after being on a ventilator for so long, one of the first questions he asked his doctors was: “When is Pesach?” His medical team was, at first, afraid to tell him the news that Pesach had come and gone and he had missed it entirely.
“How can a Jew miss Pesach?” Eli said in an interview with the press after recuperating somewhat in the hospital before flying home to Israel.
Tonight, On Thursday night, the 14th day of Iyar, Eli got his chance to celebrate the holiday on Pesach Sheni, a holiday not often celebrated. “In the time of the Bible, people who were impure and unable to celebrate Pesach with the rest of the nation received a second chance to celebrate it a month later, on the 14th day of Iyar,” Beer said. “This is the only holiday on the Jewish calendar that has a Moed Bet, a second chance. That is how important a holiday it is.”
“This is my favorite holiday of the year. There is so much meaning behind it and it is incredibly important to celebrate it with the entire family. The Hagaddah itself teaches just how important family is for the Seder specifically wit the four questions the four sons. Throughout the years, Pesach has been the most celebrated holiday by Jews across the globe. I was depressed when I found out that I had missed it. My family held the seder with an empty chair and a photo of me at the table in the hopes that I would return. Now that I have, I am going to have a seder with my family. Just a month late,” Beer added.
Eli is still not at his Jerusalem home, rather he is recuperating at an apartment in Tel Aviv that is more accessible to him while he is still undergoing physiotherapy. “My road to healing is not over yet, but being able to have a seder with my family on Pesach Sheni is a big step for me in my emotional healing. Tonight, together with my family, I will be praying for all those who are still unwell. It is my sincerest hope that they too will soon be able to return home to their loved ones.”