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Hundreds of people on the way to Israel got stranded in Rome when airlines suspended their flights to Israel. For the first day Chabad’s hotline and email, manned by Ms. Shani Barnea, was helping those stranded with information.
On Wednesday close to midnight Rabbi Baruch Myers, Chabad shliach in Bratislava, called explaining that he and other hundreds of people were accommodated by their airline in the Ergife Hotel, he asked if Chabad could provide a Sefer Torah for the morning prayer of the next day as well as a Kosher breakfast.
Rabbi Lazar organized to bring a Sefer Torah of Mr. Bino Arbib from the Beit Shmuel synagogue and a Kosher breakfast from the Pane al Pane bakery offered by Sami Cohen, Ghighi Mimun, Nicole Di Porto and Mneni Didi.
The next morning when Rabbi Lazar arrived at the Hotel with the Sefer Torah, together with Yoni Cohen, the people were in disbelief and couldn’t thank Chabad enough for allowing them to hear the reading of the Torah, they were also very thankful for the breakfast.
Rabbi Myers introduced Rabbi Lazar to Mr. Avraham Wiener, a stranded businessman from Antwerp, who having had a long relationship with the Rebbe, proposed the idea of bringing Chabad to the Hotel and promised to cover the expenses.
Following the prayers Rabbi Lazar, Rabbi Myers and later also Rabbi Canarutto, shliach of Chabad in Viale Libia in Rome, approached tens of other Jews, offering help and a chance to put on Tefillin. A man from Israel told Rabbi Lazar that he was delighted to have the opportunity to put on Tefillin for his son stationed in Gaza.
Later on in the day, the owner of the Yotvata restaurant, Mr. Marco Sed took up the request of Chabad and delivered free Kosher lunch to the hotel.
Thank G-d on that same day the airlines announced that they will continue flying to Israel, just a few people remained stranded in Rome till after Shabbat.