Residents of towns and villages throughout Judea and Samaria are still recovering from the damage wrought by last week's snowstorm, with the worst-hit communities appealing for funds to help rebuild their battered infrastructure.
Stories continue to emerge of the extraordinary hardship faced by smaller communities in particular, where families struggled to cope in structures not made to withstand the extreme weather and saw their electricity and water supplies cut off by the fierce storm.
And for one family in western Samaria (Shomron), those hardships nearly ended in tragedy - were it not for a miraculous turn of events.
The following is the story of "Mordechai", who lives with his wife and children in Harasha, as told by the Israel Empowered blog:
Like many homes which were left without electricity, Mordechai warmed his house over Shabbat with a gas heater. Saturday afternoon, he felt dizzy and extremely thirsty. He made his way to a chair and asked his wife for a cup of tea. Entering the kitchen, she, too, felt her head spinning and her knees weakening. She sat down on the kitchen floor.
Seeing his wife go down, Mordechai grabbed his cellular phone and called the Binyamin region “moked” – the emergency response number – for help. Reception was choppy, and he only succeeded in getting across her situation, when the line went dead. The response unit didn’t get his name or location.
At that point, Mordechai lost his focus - "I felt utter confusion," he said.
He sat down and gazed at the walls...