Thursday, July 05, 2012

Tzfat Wedding

Just went to a lovely wedding last night.There's a family in Tzfat that made aliyah from Alaska about 15 years ago. They had a Downs Syndrome boy, and then adopted a D.S. girl so the kids were about the same age and grew up together as brother and sister.

The family went on to foster two more D.S. kids (and would have taken more! They fought the welfare authorities for the right to foster the fourth child -- the social workers wanted to put him into an institution. During the court fight, the parents accompanied the little boy through open-heart surgery in Tel Aviv where they saw another D.S. baby who had been abandoned. They so inspired their lawyer that after the court case, which they won, the attorney and her husband adopted the little girl from Tel Aviv ).

Anyway, since the first two kids were teens, they'd been talking about wanting to marry each other, and last night was the wedding! The Chief Rabbi of Tzfat performed the wedding and the place was full of well-wishers, including the mayor,  kids' friends from their Special Needs school, teachers, and, of course, the press (which is probably why the mayor was there).

Our Chief Rabbi, Rav Eliyahu, is known as a hard-liner and a leader of the right-wing of the national religious/settlers. He's always quoted for his anti-Arab statements and is seen, by the national press, as something of a fanatic. What the rest of the country doesn't see is his dedication to the people who turn to him. He is always wonderful at weddings but last night he outdid himself, leading the singing and the dancing and doing everything possible to make the ceremony easy and meaningful for the couple.

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