On Wednesday night, snowstorm Elpis hit Israel and stranded hundreds of people in the north of the country and the Jerusalem area as highways were closed due to heavy snowfall. Among those stranded were a newly wedded bride and groom who were stuck in the Sequoia wedding hall in Ma’aleh HaChamisha, together with hundreds of guests. Due to the snow, many of the roads were either closed or dangerous to drive on, so the couple was unable to return home after the celebration.

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The bride and groom entering the United Hatzalah vehicle

The hapless newlyweds tried to find a way home and someone reached out to emergency services to assist. United Hatzalah’s Dispatch Center who received the alert did not hesitate for a moment and sent volunteers with an emergency all-terrain vehicle to assist. Despite the heavy snowfall, the volunteers traveled from Jerusalem to Ma’aleh HaHamisha and came to the assistance of the bride and groom.


The guests escorted the couple as they walked out to the United Hatzalah vehicle with singing and dancing. The couple got into the car and were brought safely to their home in Bayit VaGan to conclude the most momentous day of their lives thus far.


The Head of the United Hatzalah operations division, Moshiko Moskovitz, spoke about the humanitarian rescue operation. “As soon as we received the call about the bride and groom 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 is a great mitzvah to make a bride and groom happy on their wedding day. I wish the dear couple the biggest congratulations and 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 around 30-40% of 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 more urgent to return to their homes,” Moskowitz added.


The bride and groom could not stop thanking the amazing volunteers for their kind gestures. “I have no words,” said the groom, “Thank you so, so much. We returned home to our apartment in Bayit VaGan thanks to you even with the heavy snow. It’s unbelievable what you did to help us. You are truly angels who came to our rescue.”

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