Moti Ben Shabbat
Moti Ben Shabbatpicture used with permission of family

Chava Ben Shabbat, whose son Moti Ben Shabbat perished in the Nahariya floods as he tried to save others from drowning, spoke this morning (Sunday) with Ayala Chason at 103FM. Chava went over Moti's final moments and shared her unbearable pain.

Late last Wedenesday morning, the Ben Shabbat family was preparing for a wedding. Chava prepared lunch as her son Moti and her husband Danny were assisting people in the heavy storm. Meanwhile, a make-up lady was making her way to their house in order to prepare Chava for her niece's wedding. "It was a typical day," Chava said. "Moti and Danny came home, took off their clothes that were full of water and mud, and Moti said he was going to make a cup of tea." Koral, Chava's daughter was also at home.

"You need to understand that the balcony and two windows face the exact spot where Moti drowned," Chava pointed out. "Suddenly, Danny shouted, 'There are people inside a jeep that is being swept away!' and he ran down the steps with Moti following him," she said. "I didn't see anything. When Koral and I ran to the window and looked outside, we saw Danny knocking himself on the head and falling to the ground. We quickly ran outside and I started going crazy and screaming, 'Where's Moti?' and I was told, 'Moti was swept away.'"

Once Moti jumped into the deadly torrent of water with which all of Nahariya had to contend, there was no chance that he would survive. His body was found after a long search by rescue teams.

"Ayala," Chava shouted to the reporter, "This just isn't right. It's just not normal that this could happen in 2020! It turns out that there were metal grates in that area for years but they were removed two or three years ago. If the grates had still been there, perhaps my Moti could have grabbed onto them, but I can't be sure that, even so, he would have survived. We experienced a tsunami here in Nahariya. I was born in this city in 1962, but something like this I have not seen in all my days."