The army periodically allows and enables Israelis to enter the holy site of Joseph’s Tomb in Shechem (Nablus) – but no previous visit was ever as moving as the wedding there last night.
Hundreds of residents of Itamar, still reeling from the Palestinian terrorist massacre of the Fogel family five days earlier, arrived for a special prayer service – highlighted by the wedding ceremony of a resident of an Itamar hilltop, Moshe Orlinsky, and his betrothed, Natalya Zucher.
The two had planned to get married in Itamar, but decided to hold the joyous ceremony at the holy site of Joseph’s Tomb instead – the first wedding known to have ever taken place there. The intensity of emotion left no eye dry.
The officiating rabbi was Itamar’s rabbi, Rabbi Natan Chai, and wedding blessings were recited by Breslov leader Rabbi Shalom Arush, Rabbi Yaakov Yosef (son of Shas leader Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef), Shomron Region Chief Rabbi Elyakim Levanon, Yitzhar Rabbi David Dudkevitch, and the Kabbalist Rabbi Yaakov Deutsch.
The ketubah (marriage contract) was read aloud by IDF Shomron Brigade Rabbi Capt. David Feig.
The speeches at the ceremony emphasized the resilience of the Jewish Nation whose faith buttresses them as they swing back and forth between tragedy and great joy. Dozens of youths from Itamar added to the elation with their enthusiastic singing and dancing.
Rabbi Levanon blessed the couple by first reading aloud verses from the Book of Jeremiah, regarding the consoling prophecy of Yosef’s mother Rachel when the Jews were driven into Exile: “A voice is heard, bitter weeping; Rachel is crying for her children, refusing to be consoled… G-d said: Stop your voice from weeping and your eyes from tearing… your children will return to their borders.”
The local IDF commander, Shomron Brigade Commander Col. Nimrod Aloni, wished the young couple a “Jewish home full of joy, faith, and warmth.” Shomron Regional Council head Gershon Mesika noted the residents’ emotional roller-coaster of late, and said: “The prophet says, ‘With your blood you shall live – unfortunately, we had to go through five ‘bloods’ [the five murdered Fogel family members – ed.], but in the merit of this exalted occasion, it will strengthen all of us – the people of Itamar, the residents of the entire Shomron, and all of Israel; we will gather the broken pieces together and we will become stronger.”
Yosef's Pursuit of Unity Supports the Jewish Nation
Rabbi Chai said, "We thank G-d for giving us the fortitude to carry on… and we thank IDF Commander Nimrod Aloni, who made great efforts to enable us to hold this chupah here … It was near this spot that Yosef said, ‘I seek my brothers,’ and this pursuit of unity and love for Israel is what unites us and gives us the strength; Yosef had a coat of many colors – symbolizing that there are many aspects to the Jewish People, and each tribe has its place, but they are all unified.”
Other blessings were offered by Yesha Council head Danny Dayan, Rabbi Dudkevitch, and IDF Commander Maki Siboni. Musician and actor Golan Azulai provided the music, at no charge.