Friday, November 27, 2015

An Orphan's Wedding in Jerusalem : Despair and Hope

Bride Sarah Litman and groom Ariel Beigel sing during the wedding ceremony at the Jerusalem International Convention Center on November 26, 2015. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

An Orphan's Wedding in Jerusalem 
Hours before a Wedding, a Conversation on Despair and Hope

By: Rabbi YY Jacobson

The Litman-Beigel Wedding
As these words are being written, I am watching a live webcast of the wedding of Techiya Litman with Ariel Beigel taking place tonight in Jerusalem. Like many in the audience, I shed a tear when the crowd under the chupah sung the melody “If I forget you Jerusalem…”

Their wedding was postponed after Palestinian terrorists murdered the bride’s father and brother less than two weeks ago. The bride’s father, Rabbi Yaakov Litman, and 18-year-old brother Netanel were shot dead in a November 13 terrorist attack while driving to a celebration in southern Israel to mark the imminent marriage. (Other family members in the car — the mother, a 16-year-old boy and three young girls aged 11, 9 and 5 — were lightly wounded, suffering mostly from bruises and shrapnel injuries.)

Sarah Techiya and Ariel were due to be married on November 16, just four days after the attack, but the celebration was postponed as the Litman family sat shiva (Jewish mourning period) for Ya’akov and Netanel. Now, the bride invited the “entire world” to her wedding. The public wedding invitation, which the couple posted on social media, begins with the biblical quote: “Do not rejoice over me, my enemy, for I have fallen but I have gotten up” [Micah 7:8].

And as I watched the wedding, I could not help but remember a story about another wedding, that took place some two millennia ago, in the same land.


Dov Bar-Leib said...

The story about Rav Akiva works well if someone has to suffer and to be cheated on and off for 20 years at Uncle Lavan's house. I am not sure that there is much solace in knowing that the sun will rise on the Jewish people again 1900 years later. If I were there watching Rav Akiva laugh at the foxes on the Temple Mount, talking about old men and women sitting once again in the streets of Yerushalayim, I would assume that he was referring to that happening within the next 300 years. If I knew that that would take over another 1800 - 1900 years for that to happen, I might faint out of despondency. Thank G-d he did not mention the time frame to those who went to the Temple Mt. to mourn between the year 70 ce to the 135 ce. Now that we are at the end of the Galut with Tach veTat and the Shoah "under our belt", we have the same problem. Our cup runneth over with pain and suffering. We have barely recovered from all the preceding Churbanot. Sunrise and Sunset at weddings is nice Chupah music, but to wait 1900 years for the sun to rise is a bit too much??

Having said all this, we were there, squeezing through the door to get inside Binyanei HaUmah. It may have been the most important, significant wedding of all time.

Anonymous said...

That is such an amazing and emotionally moving photo of the family.Each face displays such depth of emotion. The heart breaker is the thousand yard stare of the youngest daughter. .. I pray G-d heals this family, and one day soon all of Israel.