By Rabbi Uriel Vigler, Director Chabad Israel Center – Belev Echad
Mazal tov! This week I flew to Israel to officiate at the miraculous wedding of a very special couple: Sarah and Ido.
I met Ido Kahlon last year, when he came to New York with fellow wounded soldiers as part of our Belev Echad program. Ido served in the Golani Brigade and was severely injured in 2003. He lay unconscious for many months, and when he woke up he required more than two years of intensive rehab.
I first met Sarah Morgan on Sukkot a few years ago at Chabad of Chester County where we were spending the holiday with my brother-in-law and his wife, Rabbi Yossi and Mrs. Tikki Kaplan.
Later, Sarah moved to the Upper East Side and began attending our events and parties. She found she had a soft spot for our Belev Echad program and volunteered her help wherever needed with each new group of soldiers.
On one occasion a soldier had a medical emergency and I needed someone to accompany him to a local hospital. Who was on my speed dial? Sarah, of course, who dropped everything and came running.
As it turns out, all that volunteering paid off….
In March 2016 we hosted another delegation of wounded soldiers and Sarah offered to take a day off work to help. I took her up on the offer. She joined us on our trip to the Statue of Liberty, and it was there that she met Ido. The attraction was instant. They spent all day together.
Days later, Ido spoke at one of our events, about both his injury and his recovery. He described how difficult it had been, and his choice not to let his injuries overcome him. Sarah listened, captivated by his strength and optimism, and they spent much of the remainder of the trip together.
As they say, the rest is history.
Sarah and Ido fell in love. Sarah made Aliyah, and her mom plans to join her before the year is up.
I was honored to attend the wedding in Hadera this week, along with my brother-in-law Rabbi Kaplan, and my other brother-in-law Rabbi Moshe Schapiro, who runs the Chabad center that Sarah’s mom attends in Hoboken NJ.
Ido’s father was choked with emotion and gratitude for the opportunity to see his son not only alive after being so severely wounded, but standing under the chuppah with a wonderful woman like Sarah. A dream come true!
Our sages teach that when a person gives, he/she receives much more in return. Sarah’s story of love demonstrates just that. For years she volunteered with our wounded soldiers, and ultimately through our program she met her wonderful life partner. Mazal tov!
We wish the couple blessings for mazal, health, children, and success in all their endeavors.