Jewishupdates's Blog

January 16, 2010

ZAKA Rescues 8 Students Alive From Collapsed University Building In Haiti

Filed under: Uncategorized — jewishupdates @ 11:55 pm

ZAKA Rescues 8 Students Alive From Collapsed University Building In Haiti

It was a “Shabbat from Gehenoim” for the ZAKA International Rescue Unit delegation in Haiti. The six man ZAKA delegation (four from Israel and two from Mexico) arrived in Haiti aboard a Mexican air force Hercules, immediately after completing their work in recovery and identification in the Mexico City helicopter crash.

On arrival, the ZAKA delegation was dispatched to the collapsed 8-story university building where cries could be heard from the trapped students. After hours of work around the clock and working with rescue equipment provided by the Mexican military, the ZAKA volunteers succeeded in pulling eight students alive from the rubble, 38 hours after the building collapsed in the earthquake.

In a disturbing email that Mati Goldstein, head of the ZAKA International Rescue Unit delegation managed to send to the ZAKA headquarters in Jerusalem, he writes of the “Shabbat from hell. Everywhere, the acrid smell of bodies hangs in the air. Its just like the stories we are told of the Holocaust – thousands of bodies everywhere. You have to understand that the situation is true madness, and the more time passes, there are more and more bodies, in numbers that cannot be grasped. It is beyond comprehension.”

Amid the stench and chaos, the ZAKA delegation took time out to recite Shabbos prayers – a surreal sight of ultra-orthodox men wrapped in prayer shawls standing on the collapsed buildings. Many locals sat quietly in the rubble, staring at the men as they prayed facing Jerusalem. At the end of the prayers, they crowded around the delegation and kissed the prayer shawls.

Due to the breakdown in communications in Haiti, the ZAKA delegation which arrived from Mexico was unable to make contact before Shabbat with the Israeli Home Front Command delegation that is now in Haiti.

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)

http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/article.php?p=44940

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