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Israel’s First Mass Wedding

September 10, 2006
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TV producer Eliran Bardougo organized the affair in 21 days, interviewing over 300 couples and refusing Christian, Arab, and gay couples, so it could be a joint kosher Jewish wedding. Fifty Israeli companies donated NIS 10 million [US $2,300,000].Dresses were designed, suits for the grooms were provided, a beautician did the brides’ hair, a make-up artist made the brides beautiful, and a DJ and singers were recruited for the reception.

Although it wasn’t the wedding the couples had planned, it was a good solution. One couple’s wedding hall had been bombed. A bride’s dress was still at the seamstress’s house in a dangerous area and could not be retrieved. Some invitations were left in boxes when they fled from their homes. One couple had to cancel their honeymoon because the groom was a firefighter and had to return to duty the day after the wedding. Some couples planned to have big parties later, since they were allowed to only invite 100 guests.

Possibly the best part of the wedding was the traditional act of breaking a glass with a swift stomp of the foot, remembering the destruction of the Temple. Rabbi Metzger said Hizbullah had wanted to destroy Jewish homes, but here couples were building them. “All the broken glass will be the biggest bomb that we send Nasrallah. It is a bomb of happiness against hatred.”

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