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Northern Family (Almost) Makes it to Snowbound Machpelah Cave

A family intent on giving thanks to G-d at the Machpelah Cave refused to let a little snow stand in their way
By David Lev
First Publish: 12/15/2013, 7:04 PM

Kiryat Arba, in the snow
Kiryat Arba, in the snow
Kiryat Arba Local Council

Like many other places, Hevron experienced major snowfall during the winter storm that hit Israel beginning last Wednesday. In the aftermath of the storm, roads are nearly impassable, and even those that are navigable are still iced up. Authorities have asked travelers to stay off the roads unless travel is absolutely necessary. Not that anyone would travel under such conditions, unless it was absolutely necessary.

Soldiers at the Machpelah Cave in Hevron, then, were very surprised on Sunday afternoon when a family arrived at the holy site – a family that hailed all the way from Kiryat Shemona, on Israel's northern border. In an unusual event, the family came to hold a festive meal at the site, in order to thank G-d for providing them with a child after 25 years of marriage.

The family managed to travel by bus all the way from the north, setting out very early Sunday morning. Most of the major highways in the north are open, and early Sunday the roads coming into Jerusalem – Roads 1, 443, and 60 – were for the most part reopened to public transportation, which includes buses.

The bus got as far as neighboring Kiryat Arba, where the vehicle got stuck due to snow. The family members proceeded on foot to the Cave, where they held their festive meal, along with prayers of thanksgiving. The bus driver, along with some helpful soldiers, was trying to dig the bus out of the snowpile it got stuck in, in order to prepare for the journey back home.