Israel is an important place for many religions. Some evangelicals believe that the return of Jews to their homeland is part of bringing about the End Times. Many Jews want to be buried in Israel. In the Old Testament Israelites carried Joseph’s bones out of Egypt so that he could be buried in the Promised Land. And some believe being buried there means that your future generations may choose to live there.
With much commercial aviation at a stand still, it’s become difficult to return to Israel. And a surprising number of Jews are chartering planes so that people can be buried there. While United is still flying Newark-Tel Aviv they are no longer accepting caskets for shipment.
Commercial travel is also not possible for those recovering from grave illness. But when Eli Beer, the President of United Hatzalah (a free emergency medical services non-profit based in Jerusalem) sought to return home to Israel after recovering from COVID-19 in Miami, he had the help of Sheldon Adelson, the CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corporation.
Beer’s story also gives us a glimpse into one of Sheldon Adelson’s private jets.
The coronavirus pandemic has trapped loved ones across borders from each other and kept people from worshipping in the manner their religion calls for. It’s taking an incredible toll both on those sick from the virus, and those losing their life’s work in the shutdown. We can all long for the day when we can again travel freely and connect with each other – and celebrate each time someone recovers and can travel home.
(HT: David H.)
Update: A reader who was the medic on the flight writes, “You should acknowledge Miami Hatzalah as well since they handled all logistics from the American side” and shared several additional photos include: