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Rabbi Fendel officiating at the wedding of Chaim & Ziva Zohar, moved at the last minute from Ashkelon to our bomb-proof Yeshiva dining room in Sderot!

Their wedding was canceled due to the security situation, but the Rosh Yeshiva of Sderot’s Hesder Yeshiva decided to throw them a party they would never forget!

A young couple who planned to marry on Wednesday had to cancel the wedding due to the security situation. When word of this reached the Sderot Hesder Yeshiva head Rabbi David Fendel and his wife Rebbetzin Mechi, they decided to make it happen anyway. Within 24 hours, with the help of his students, Rabbi Fendel prepared the Yeshiva’s bomb-proof dining room for the big event and this afternoon Chaim Zohar from Ofakim married Ziva from Sderot.

The excitement was tremendous  and for a long time the Rabbi and yeshiva students danced with the groom on the dance floor. In towns adjacent to Sderot one could hear the constant sirens  and explosions, but the Yeshiva students continued the dancing to the delight the young couple who could not believe how they deserved such help. “Things turned out to be very emotional — we didn’t plan on this. All we wanted was a shul, a chuppa and wedding ceremony as should be — and they organized us such a surprise — we are speechless!” said Zohar. “The situation is tense. But it won’t prevent us from marrying. We do not fear the rockets, they can’t scare us and no Hamas in the world will intimidate us. Despite all the rockets, we continue our lives as best and as routinely as possible.”

“We didn’t expect the whole thing,” said the bride. “Today was supposed to be a brief affair — just the wedding ceremony and then home and we would have the party a month from now when things calm down.  I want to thank everyone including the Yeshiva’s donors and everyone who helped out.”

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Yeshiva students gather around for an unforgettable wedding!

This is a tremendous “Simcha” — they were supposed have the wedding in an unprotected hall in Ashkelon and would have had to cancel the wedding, said Rabbi Fendel. “We said why? We have an awesome community here who want to rejoice with you, we have an armored dining room — just come! This is the solidarity of the Jewish people – without even knowing the bride and groom, we all rejoice with them and feel that this is OUR Simcha!”

Adiel Avraham, a wedding guest, said: “This shows the great power of the Jewish people — while outside everything is gloomy and dark — we continue on and this is what builds the people and the land.” According to him, this is not the first time that the Yeshiva has mobilized in a crisis. “Whenever there is a problem, everyone knows that Rabbi Fendel always has the solution. Many problems land at his doorstep and the Yeshiva always finds the way to help and support. The Yeshiva has been called ‘a beacon of light’ because that is its influence over the entire area. The Yeshiva’s purpose is to give as much as possible like a lighthouse to help and illuminate the entire area!”

By Yossi Baumol


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