Dressed in a long, white satin gown, the bride was playing basketball at her wedding. The assembled crowd was cheering her on as she scored yet another basket. The groom, my son, was being entertained by his close friends, and a group of strangers.

Family members had traveled great distances to participate in this wedding. It was held towards the end of summer in Deal, NJ, an upscale resort town inhabited mainly by wealthy Syrian Jews. Carefully planned, the wedding started to become unraveled almost as soon as the reception began.

The wedding started to become unraveled While sampling the sumptuous array of delicacies at the buffet, I paid scarce attention at first to the announcement over the microphone: "All wedding guests must evacuate the hall immediately. We have just received a bomb threat. The sheriff and police squad with their canine team are here to investigate and search the premises."

"This can't be true," I thought, "probably just some prank." But then I saw the wedding crowd slowly filing out of the hall and assembling on the synagogue grounds outside. "OK," I thought, "so it's not a prank. We'll be back inside in no time."

We formed small groups on the lawn, chatting and trying to make light of this novel and somewhat amusing predicament. Soon there was another announcement.

"All the guests must vacate the area and move across the street to the parking lot." "Oh boy, this is getting serious," I thought.

Slowly we gathered on the lot amongst all the parked cars, trying to keep up our spirits, but our predicament was starting to get annoying. Unable to have access to the synagogue, we were without bathroom facilities, water, food and mostly good humor.

We gave the appearance of strangely clad wartime refugees evicted from our premises but without a bomb shelter. Many were inwardly contemplating a possible explosion and what we would do in that event.

Even though it was the evening of Tu B'Av, when in Biblical times it was a custom to dance in the field, it occurred to me that this may be some kind of macabre coincidence.

"I sure am glad the weather is fine," I thought. If it had been raining, we really would have been in a pickle.

Some of the men attempted to sing and dance around the groom to give the appearance of a wedding to this displaced crowd, but it was getting difficult with the music left behind. Night was approaching, quickly wrapping this eerie scene in total darkness. I anxiously wondered how much longer this was going to last.

I grew alarmed as I saw men carrying Torah scrolls out of the synagogue One of my daughters-in-law started to complain; she needed her toddler's diaper bag. Trying to console her, I suddenly grew alarmed as I looked up and saw men carrying the Torah Scrolls out of the synagogue. "This is surreal. It can't be happening," I thought. "This is supposed to be a wedding, not a disaster zone."

Then I heard the next announcement: "We have been just told that we have to evacuate the parking lot."

Almost immediately, it started to empty out. The owners were afraid of their cars being held captive for an unknown time. "Everyone is leaving," I thought. "Soon there will be no one left."

As the crowd was thinning, there was yet another announcement: "Ladies and gentlemen, we have just received good news! We have been invited to the grounds of the house across the street. Please make your way there now."

We all wearily shuffled to the designated house—the summer residence of an unknown Syrian Jew. Enormous in size, it was situated on spacious well-kept grounds which included a huge kidney shaped pool, tennis and basketball courts and, thankfully, bathroom facilities in the luxurious pool house.

In a short while, some people whom I did not know brought out bottled water and packages of cookies. As we were trying our best to keep up our spirits, aluminum trays of hot glatt kosher beef chow mein and rice appeared and were quickly set up on the tables. Famished, we helped ourselves to the delicious food while making good use of the chaise lounges and small tables scattered about. One could almost believe it was an outdoor cocktail party minus the alcohol and music. Everyone made a concerted effort to be merry.

Out of nowhere, a DJ appeared carrying sound equipment. Soon after, melodious wedding dance music rejuvenated our lagging spirits. Even without the l'chaims, we joyfully danced around the groom and bride.

Total strangers came at that late hour to join in the dancingChain calls had been made by wedding guests to people from the community, total strangers who got dressed in evening attire at that late hour to join in the dancing. The wedding was back on track.

Around 11:15 pm, we were told that we could return to the shul and almost reluctantly we made our way back there. We were greeted by a brightly lit hall, two fully stacked bars, long buffet tables loaded with an array of sumptuous food, and Viennese tables loaded with pastries, cakes and other delicacies. And so the wedding continued in our original location.

Just then I heard a robust voice emanating from the men's section. It was that of Yaacov Shwecky, a prominent singer who surprised us by coming to sing and dance with us till the wee hours of the morning. He was also a recipient of the chain call.

This wedding will surely go down in history as an example of a small Jewish community's unbelievable outpouring of kindness to ensure that a wedding be celebrated in a fitting manner. Those who sought to destroy our wedding by making a bomb threat were not victorious. Random kindness from total strangers in Deal, NJ won out in the end. May they all be blessed for a good and sweet year.