Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

1 Adar I 5768 - February 7, 2008 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










Produced and housed by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Chessed in the Snow

By Yechiel Sever

The snowfall that blanketed Jerusalem and other locations in Eretz Yisroel last week provided an opportunity for rescue and chessed organizations to show their true colors, dispatching hundreds of volunteers to offer assistance and save lives.

Hundreds of volunteers at Ichud Hatzalah, which stood out as one of the most active organizations during the snow conditions, responded to over 350 calls for urgent humanitarian assistance in Jerusalem and Tzfas, the largest communities that had snow.

The headquarters office, which operated around the clock for 48 hours, dispatched all-terrain vehicles, jeeps and numerous volunteers eager to help residents manage during the snowstorm. They delivered medication for elderly people and babies, hot food for the needy, brought chassonim and kallohs and their family members to and from wedding halls, and transported dozens of people who needed to get to hospitals for medical treatments. They also used jeeps and other vehicles outfitted to drive in snowy conditions to transport doctors, nurses, mohalim and medical equipment. In one case volunteers even brought a widow and her children to Har Hamenuchos Cemetery to mark the end of her husband's Shiva.

Last Thursday afternoon the emergency response centers set up by the various chessed organizations closed shop after successfully assisting numerous patients and needy residents.

Yad Sarah vans transported many dialysis and radiation- therapy patients to hospitals for treatments. Over the course of 30 hours dozens of drivers transported hundreds of patients and people in need of medical care. The organization installed snow chains donated by Friends of Yad Sarah in Switzerland, on 20 vans.

Residents of Gush Etzion, including Beitar Illit, were helped extensively by Lev Yehudit, whose volunteers manned the organization's ambulances around the clock for two days, transporting patients one after the next, including dialysis patients, women in labor, chassonim, kallohs, and many more.

The organization was involved in extricating numerous cars and passengers stuck in the snow. Situated at an even higher elevation than Jerusalem, Gush Etzion received a heavy snowfall. Cars slid and got stuck, people got stranded and family members got stuck in Jerusalem after the Tunnel Road was closed to traffic.

Among the chessed organizations active in outlying towns was Ezrat Achim, which operates primarily in Beit Shemesh. The organization's ambulances were on the roads, bringing patients and their family members to and from hospitals and providing other types of assistance.

Yedidim, a new organization, also dispatched many volunteers, who worked in cooperation with Ichud Hatzalah. Lev Malka ambulances were busy during the snow, especially in Jerusalem. Chairman R' Aharon Averman says the volunteers at the organization, which set up a response center as soon as the snow fell, had their hands full with chessed tasks.


All material on this site is copyrighted and its use is restricted.
Click here for conditions of use.