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Shidduch at the corona hote

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

"Shalom, this is about me, Shani Yakobson, 29 years old, and Amir Tzion, who is 34. On Erev Rosh HaShanah, I tested positive for the coronavirus and was placed in isolation at the corona hotel, the Carlton in Nahariya. At the same time, Amir, who works as a hospital nurse, tested positive for the virus and arrived at the same hotel. Both of us entered the new year with an ominous feeling. We went to the hotel in order not to infect our families during the holiday, and we were both in despair over our illness, our isolation, and our lack of certainty. On the first day of Tishrei, the Day of Judgement which starts the new year, we prayed in an improvised synagogue that the gates of good news would open. While the shofar was blown, both of us prayed that we would merit to build a family home. We were both single but no longer young, and had gone on numerous dates, but we could not imagine that in the dining room of the corona hotel -- salvation would come. In retrospect, everything seems so strange. Are we supposed to say thank you to those who infected us? To thank the Home Front Command for the shidduch? To thank stubborn guests at the hotel who took initiative to leave us alone in the dining room, in order that we would talk and get to know each other?

We have heard many times our sages' words, that 'finding a spouse is as difficult as splitting the Red Sea.' This Shabbat we read in the Torah about the splitting of the Red Sea. The two of us felt this miracle within ourselves. We are engaged. We know the situation remains difficult outside, beyond our bubble, harsh and painful and frustrating. Therefore, we want to publicize and shout our story to the entire world to give hope to others during this awful time. We discovered in the most personal way that even within great darkness great light can suddenly burst forth."


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