The religious man who made secular doctors believe in miracles

As she walked home following the conversation with her friends, however, and let herself into the one-room apartment she will move into once she is married, her body language tells a different story

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Din family
Din family
צילום: Vaad Harabbanim

“Who says you have to have a diamond ring to get married,” said the young woman in a recent conversation with friends. “Sure it’s a nice thing to have, but what matters at the end of the day isn’t the externals - it’s building a Jewish home.”

Rikki recently got engaged and has kept a very low profile, insisting on small celebrations and no extra frills. As she walked home following the conversation with her friends, however, and let herself into the one-room apartment she will move into once she is married, her body language tells a different story.

The young bride sits on the floor, because there are no chairs. Chairs would be a luxury to her, at this point, and she has been asking around to see if anyone is giving any away. Rikki’s father passed away earlier this year from cancer, leaving her mother behind with 10 children to raise on her own. Money is scarce and not only is Rikki engaged, but her brother is as well. Neither of them would dare embarrass their mother by asking for anything they don’t absolutely need.

In the corner of the studio apartment are two small mattresses on the floor, with no bed frames. Where the gas is meant to plug into an oven in the kitchen area is an empty space - appliances are far out of her budget. She gets herself a drink of water from the mini fridge she bought with her savings - It may not be a regular fridge, but it’s something. She looks at a picture of her father on the fridge, the Abba she lost so suddenly, and her eyes well with tears. What would he think if he could see her now?

Though Rikki has bravely been happy to go without the societal ‘extras’ brides often get, it is undeniable that she has gone without many needs as well. A fund is collecting money to help Rikki and her brother have simple weddings, where no member of the family need go without dignity or essentials. As both wedding dates approach, time is running out. Help is being raised here for a limited time.



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