Dozens of hareidi religious Jews spent an unforgettable Shabbat at Ben Gurion International Airport after their plane landed moments before the holy Day of Rest began late Friday afternoon.
Approximately 80 hareidi religious Jews, including small children, left Switzerland on a flight that had been scheduled to fly in the morning but was delayed several hours.
After the plane took off and it became clear that it would not land at Ben Gurion Airport in time for the passengers to arrive at their homes before Shabbat began, ZAKA medical and rescue authorities operated by religious Jews, went into action to make arrangements for the passengers to spend Shabbat at the airport.
Working against the clock, they coordinated with the rabbis from the airport and El Al, although the flight was operated by Swiss Air. Petach Tikvah and Kfar Chabad authorities helped organize the special Shabbat, and a Bnei Brak caterer and bakery donated “challot,” special bread for the Shabbat, and food for three meals.
Petach Tikvah donated mattresses and blankets from their emergency headquarters, and the airport arranged a hall for Shabbat meals. A synagogue with Torah scrolls is located in the airport.
“It was a Shabbat of re-awakening, said ZAKA volunteer Baraleh Yakobowitz. “Everyone sat around the table and sang Shabbat songs, while hundreds of curious bystanders saw how we sanctify the Shabbat and the Creator. It was a wonderful Shabbat."