This Wedding Had 25K Guests, But Is It Enough for Style Me Pretty?


Some people get their rocks off obsessing about the Royal Wedding, which definitely ranks as one of the most elaborate (and popular) celebrations of Christianity still remaining. For those of the Jewish faith who felt left out of that display, here’s equally insane alternative: the wedding of Rabbi Shalom Rokeach, the grandson of the leader of the Belz Hasidic dynasty.

If you don’t know as much about the Belz as you do about Will and Kate’s lineage, you should; it’s endlessly fascinating. They take their name from a town in Ukraine where the religion was founded. After Belz was ravaged during World War II, some leaders of the community fled to Israel, where they’re currently the second largest Hasidic group. In recent years, they’ve grown their numbers rapidly in the United States, though have been at odds with other Hasidic sects. According to the Daily Mail (and these photos, which show tens of thousands of people at the wedding), this marriage between the future leader of the sect and his bride is a big deal for the Belz:

“The marriage of one of its descendants, who is considered aristocracy among Orthodox Jews, is big occasion and all members of the sect from all over the world are invited…The wedding is a rare meet-and-greet opportunity for leaders of various Hasidic sects. Thousands of Belz Hasids from the United States and Europe attended the celebration, which lasted until dawn. A number of Jerusalem streets were shut down because of the size of the celebrations.”

Who is the bride? 19-year-old bride Hannah Batya Penet, who, as tradition dictates, kept her face covered during the entire ceremony Wednesday morning in Jeruselum, shielding herself from her 18-year-old future husband. She’s described as being from “rank-and-file Belz family” (i.e. not royalty). A commoner. Just like you-know-who. But unlike that royal wedding, this one had a guest list of 25,000.

The bride who can never show her face [Daily Mail]

Images via Uriel Sinai/Getty

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