A Northeast Ohio lawyer and his fiancé suddenly had to put off their wedding ceremony set up to take place this coming weekend in Israel.
They also have loved ones trapped in the middle of the chaos. Horror there has led to outrage around the world, and now this.
Joe Hendlin and Mara Geller had put a lot of planning into holding their wedding ceremony in Israel. But, just before the big day, Israel found itself under a massive and stunning attack.
“It was just going to be a great, joyous occasion,” Joe Hendlin said. “But given what’s happened, I can only say, ‘so what?’ about the party. We’re just hoping for everyone to be safe.”
Joe Hendlin works as a local attorney. He tells us his flight to Israel got cancelled, but he has a lot of friends and relatives there. Also, his mother ended up trapped there. She had gone overseas early in advance of the wedding.
“So, mom is there. She’s there with her sister,” Joe Hendlin said. “The Israeli government has recommended people keep three days water, and flashlights, and some food, and medical supplies in their bomb shelters.’
We made contact with Janet Hendlin in Israel. She sent a statement, saying:
“As you can imagine, it’s very stressful here. Talking about ourselves really doesn’t seem proper when a short distance away people are suffering cruelty that is too horrific to speak of. Not to mention families who’ve had their loved ones murderously butchered. Our dear friends have had their niece and nephew kidnapped. My sweet nephew was called up on Shabbat and we can’t communicate with him. People here are strong and amazing. The country is 1000% united and there is so much grassroots help going out for the army and the suffering families.
“I will add that my father was a holocaust survivor. He told us that if the allies had just bombed the railroad tracks in Europe, millions of Jews would’ve been saved. I believe that is what Israel is doing right now.
“Pray for Israel and the Jewish people. “
“Every fiber in me wants to go back with my friends and join the war, right now,” Joe Hendlin said.
He says he has served in the Israeli military as a paratrooper and a sharpshooter. He has considered going back to serve while hearing stories of innocent people kidnapped, children slaughtered and more.
However, he will likely not be going back to fight.
“As much as it would make me feel great to go back in the Army, like I always did, I don’t think it’d be fair to put that extra stress on my family who thought they’d be celebrating a wedding this weekend,” he said.
Back to the wedding, Joe Hendlin promises it will still happen and happen in Israel. Someday.
“I still have not seen Mara in her wedding dress. So, we’ll save the big reveal for the big day. We’re together. We’re standing strong and we’re going to have a great wedding in Israel when it’s all over,” he said.
There’s no telling when ‘someday’ might be, but the priority for now is the safety of loved ones, the safety of everyone and peace in Israel.