A match made in Jerusalem’s coronavirus ward

A match made in Jerusalem’s coronavirus ward

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“Love conquers all – even the insanity of COVID-19,” said Elior Ben-Baruch, a Jerusalem police officer whose job it is to secure the Temple Mount.

Ben-Baruch was recently married to Leah, who is expecting their first child. The two met in a most unlikely place:  Hadassah-University Medical Center’s coronavirus ward.
Ben-Baruch’s grandfather, Yehuda, contracted COVID-19 and when his condition worsened, he was  brought to the hospital

“It was the first wave, the fear of infection was great and we could not go into the hospital to visit Grandpa,” Ben-Baruch recalled. “We cared about him and his condition and asked for updates every day.”

Ben-Baruch’s dad learned that a relative of an acquaintance from France worked as an X-ray technician in Hadassah and had been spending her time in the COVID ward photographing patients’ lungs.

“We contacted her and asked her to visit Grandpa, take care of him and be his support,” Ben-Baruch said.

That technician was Leah. She agreed to the task.

“Grandpa Yehuda… was tired and suffering, but the staff treated him with devotion,” she reported. “I would go over each day and see how he was doing and pass on updates to the family. I got to know a lovely man and a very embracing and caring family, for whom the health of the head of the family was very important. It warmed my heart.”

When the grandfather was released from Hadassah and needed to continue treatment at home with a portable oxygen tank, they asked Leah to check in on him there, too. This led to Leah’s connection with Ben-Baruch and the rest of the family deepening.

Quickly, she realized she had feelings for the police officer.

“We did not know that the technician with a huge heart and the willingness to help Grandpa would end in her joining the family,” Ben-Baruch said.

But eventually she did.

Ben-Baruch asked Leah to marry him. They tied the knot during the third wave in a small ceremony. Grandpa accompanied them under the huppah (wedding canopy).

“It was a crazy time,” Ben-Baruch recalled. “Leah worked all the time in the coronavirus department at Hadassah and I worked for the Israel Police in the Jerusalem district, which is at the forefront of the fight against the coronavirus.

“We worked around the clock to stop the coronavirus,” he continued. “I was barely home, but I saw my work as a mission. Who believed that such a serious and special bond could be formed during this period?”

Hadassah shared the Ben-Baruch’s story on Friday morning during the Jewish Valentine’s Day, known as Tu Be’Av – the 15th of the Hebrew month of Av. 

“Leah is pregnant,” Ben-Baruch said. “We are expecting a baby girl to join us in a few months. When she grows up, we will tell her how her mom and dad met thanks to the coronavirus.”



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