Monday, November 9, 2009

For Netanya Chassidim, Love and Marriage Go Together Like a Horse and Carriage

(Photos by Moshe Goldstein)

More than 10,000 Chassidim gathered in Netanya last week to celebrate the wedding of Meir Meshulam, son of Sanz Grand Rabbi Tzvi Elimelech Halberstam, the Klausenberger Rebbe, to his cousin, Bracha Unsdorfer.

According to the report in Israel's,
In the past few days, massive tents were erected for the guests. Among the many guests who attended the wedding were grand rabbis from other large Hasidic sects, such as Ger and Belz. The groom and his father, the grand rabbi, were escorted into the ceremony on an ornate horse-drawn carriage accompanied by Hasidic notables, who rode in on horses.

Before the meal, 1,800 chickens, 800 kg (1,764 lbs) of beef, 1.2 tons of carp, and a 30 meter (30 yard) challah were prepared – for the men only. Kitchen manager and Sanz Yeshiva chef, Aharon Levinstein, reported that he worked for a month straight preparing some 19,000 dishes for the wedding and the surrounding celebrations. He said he hasn't been home since last Shabbat.

Lots of eating took place in the women's tent as well. The womens' dishes were supplied by an external catering company from Bnei Barak.

The Sanz-Klausenberg Hasidic dynasty, considered one of the largest today in Israel, was started in Europe by the author of "Divrei Chaim," Grand Rabbi Chaim Halberstam of Sanz. The dynasty in Israel numbers a few thousand households, most of which are located in Netanya's Kiryat Hahasidut.

We didn't get an invitation to the wedding, and we assume neither did you, so here's a rare opportunity to join in the biggest simcha of the year and wish a big mazal tov to the bride and groom, shown in the video below as they share their first dance. L'chayim!

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