Last Yud Shevat Guests Leave Days Before Purim

After the Israeli Government’s lockdown stranded hundreds of visitors in Crown Heights, the remaining guests finally were given permission to return, just days before Purim.

By reporter

The final Yud Shevat guests from Eretz Yisroel finally made their way back home on Tuesday, after they received permission to join one of the limited flights.

Hundreds of visitors traveled from Eretz Yisroel to Crown Heights for Yud Shevat this year, after having received the COVID-19 vaccine, or having previously recovered from the virus. At the time, the skies of Israel remained open, and vaccinated individuals could travel as they pleased.

But just a few days later, the Israeli Government decided on another lockdown, shutting all border crossings at a minute’s notice. Hundreds of bochurim and married men were left stranded in New York, with no way to return home.

The unplanned extended stay caused a mini-crisis in Crown Heights, with many of the guests not having a place to stay or eat. But after attention was brought to their plight, generous donors and hosts stepped up to supply them with room and board.

After some time passed, and under immense pressure, the Israeli Government decided to allow limited flights into Israel, carrying only Israeli citizens, and with a mandatory quarantine afterwards.

Nevertheless, with thousands of Israelis around the globe attempting to return home, many were left to wait for weeks before they could get a spot on one of the limited return flights.

Over the past two weeks, the Yud Shevat guests slowly made their way back to Eretz Yisroel, with a small number returning every day. On Tuesday, the last guests were finally able to secure a spot on a flight to make it home in time for Purim.

The guests were seen off at 770 with a chassidic dance, and warm wishes from their friends to see them again under easier circumstances.

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