Avid Editor's Insights

Sabbath in Haiti

Posted by Glezele Vayne on January 16, 2010


Ellie’s sidenote: I don’t usually include the comments from Arutz Sheva articles I repost here (with permission and according to Arutz Sheva guidelines). But this one comment was so poignant, I just can’t resist:

“Are any Arab countries sending delegations to help in Haiti? Doubt it. — Rachel, Israel “

Recall the Iranian government’s reaction when Israel offered assistance after their most recent, devastating earthquake — a few excerpts from Iranian Earthquake Victims by Joel Leyden

“But as the death toll soars from the world’s most serious earthquake since 25,000 were killed in the wester Indian state of Gujarat in 2001, Tehran continued its longstanding hostility toward Israel, declaring it would not accept it’s assistance.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran accepts all kinds of humanitarian aid from all countries and international organizations with the exception of the Zionist regime,” Hahanbakhsh Khanjani, a spokesman for Iran’s Interior Ministry said…

“The Government and people of Israel are moved by the human tragedy experienced by the Iranian people and believe that despite all differences a mobilization of the whole internatiuonal community is needed to come to the help of families of the victims and wounded…

“Tehran has called for international relief aid from any country except Israel…”

The Haitian government proves itself wiser than the mullocracy of Iran. — Ellie Katz

Israeli Volunteers in Haiti: Sabbath was ‘Hellish’ but Stirring

by Gil Ronen

(IsraelNN.com) Volunteers from ZAKA, the religious emergency rescue group, said that they experienced a “hellish” Sabbath in Haiti but also experienced stirring moments during the Sabbath prayer.

The ZAKA delegation arrived in Haiti on Thursday after taking part in rescue operations, collection of bodies and identification at another disaster scene – the site of the helicopter crash in Mexico in which Jewish financier and philanthropist Moshe Saba was killed.

The ZAKA delegation decided to take charge of rescue operations at the ruins of the Haiti university building, an eight story structure that collapsed. They worked around the clock, assisted by members of the Jewish emergency rescue team of Mexico, which had accompanied them from their previous mission, and using equipment from the Mexican army. They succeeded in extricating eight Haitian students who were still alive and suffering from various degrees of injury, after spending 38 hours trapped under the wreckage. News of this success circulated among other rescue crews and added to their motivation, encouraging them not to give up on the possibility of finding survivors under the ruins.

Surrealistic prayer scene
The delegation members described their Sabbath experience as “hell,” with hundreds of bodies strewn all about with nobody there to bury them, and the stench of rotting flesh in the air. The group held the Sabbath prayers amidst the ruins, and later described “a surrealistic sight of Jews wrapped in tallitot [prayer shawls] atop fallen buildings.”

From Glezele Vayne

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