An Israeli man who is in serious condition with COVID-19 was given the chance to take part in his son’s wedding after the Jerusalem hospital were he is being treated hosted the ceremony on its grounds, beneath his ward window.
A video of Sunday’s event by the Hadassah Medical Center showed the bride, escorted by two women holding candles, walking to a traditional wedding canopy set up on the hospital campus as a live singer crooned Hebrew music.
The couple, from an ultra-Orthodox family in the southern city of Arad, was accompanied by their guests, a handful of Haredi men wearing masks and several photographers.
Looking on from a window above the ceremony was the groom’s 56-year-old father, who has been hospitalized in serious condition with COVID-19 since September.
In the video, he is seen with an oxygen mask over his face, lying in a hospital bed near a window draped in colorful balloons.
Yad Avraham, a medical volunteer organization that helped organize the wedding, said the father was wearing a hat worn by ultra-Orthodox men on festive occasions but was too weak to be dressed in full traditional wedding garb.
The hospital said that Sunday’s wedding was held in accordance with all Health Ministry guidelines.
Hospitals around the world have looked for creative ways to circumvent the often heartbreaking challenges posed by the disease, which has divided grandchildren from grandparents, prevented final family visits to hospitals and drastically changed major life events.
Israel this week relaxed restrictions following a month-long lockdown meant to rein in a raging coronavirus outbreak. It has recorded more than 303,000 infections since the beginning of the pandemic, with more than 2,200 deaths and 272,000 recoveries.
While daily infections have declined, restrictions are still in place, including on gatherings, which are limited to 20 people outdoors and 10 indoors.
The small, muted ceremony stood in contrast to a number of large celebrations held by some segments of Israel’s ultra-Orthodox community, who in some cases have defied rules on gatherings.