Rabbi who took shelter in Istanbul mosque returns home

A rabbi who took shelter in a Turkish mosque during a massive snowstorm in Istanbul that ravaged the Turkish metropolis a few days ago has finally arrived in his native Israel.

Israel Elbom, a 62-year-old rabbi and kashrut supervisor who was on a work assignment in Istanbul, was brought to a mosque by security forces after being stranded on a highway for half a day.

Speaking to reporters at Istanbul Airport prior to his scheduled flight to Tel Aviv, Elbom said that he spent the night in the warm mosque and that people were helpful to him.

"The people were very nice and helped us," he noted, adding that he later offered the Shacharit morning prayers along with Muslim worshipers.

He also said that Turkey's chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Mendy Chitrik assisted with the evacuations.

"My friend Rabbi Elbaum was also at the E-5 traffic pile-up in Istanbul - he took it in good spirits," Chitrik said on Twitter.

Elbaum was in Istanbul as part of his job as a controller for kosher food, checking if companies abide by the requirements of Jewish law.

"Hundreds of travelers are stranded all over the country - due to the heavy snowstorm. I keep on getting calls to supply Kosher food from [Turkish provinces of] Antalya and Ankara to Trabzon," he added, sharing a video of Elbaum on the car where he was stranded.


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