Brides Aren't "Supposed" To Do This. She Did It Anyway

Shaindy had a seat and immediately noticed that all of the other brides had a mother or sister with them, helping them pick which dress they liked the most. It occurred to her that maybe coming alone was strange.

Sponsored Content , | updated: 12:30 PM

 Vaad Harabbanim
Vaad Harabbanim
צילום: Vaad Harabbanim

It was a sunny Sunday morning as Shaindy Lev walked down the narrow cobblestone street to the address she had scribbled on an envelope. She found the door with the right number, and a smiling young woman came to the door to greet her.

They walked down the hallway and opened the door into a large room full of beautiful wedding dresses. Shaindy had gotten the number for a dress gemach (business that gives away free items to poor people) from a cousin and was relieved she wouldn't have to buy one: Her mother was currently fighting a serious illness, and her father didn’t live with her. She was getting married on her own and if she was going to pay for something it was going to come out of her own modest income.

Shaindy had a seat and immediately noticed that all of the other brides had a mother or sister with them, helping them pick which dress they liked the most. It occurred to her that maybe coming alone was strange. But Shaindy was used to doing things alone - working, studying, running the house now that her mother was in and out of the hospital - she did everything alone.

After 30 minutes and a few options, Shaindy found the right gown for her: A simple, modest dress with white lace and pearl details. She brought it to the owner of the gemach.

“Great. So that will be a 1,000 shekel deposit.”

“A what?” Shaindy’s cheeks turned red and her voice began to tremble. “I thought this was a gemach.”

“Yes of course,” said the woman, surprised at Shaindy’s naivete, “But there is a security deposit in case something happens to the dress.”

Tears began to well in Shaindy’s eyes. She did not have 1,000 shekel in her bank account, even if it would be returned to her. A deposit is the sort of thing a parent might have known about, if she had not been alone. In a moment of complete humiliation, Shaindy hung the dress back up on the rack, politely thanked the woman who had helped her, and walked through the door out onto the street. On the bus home tears silently rolled down her cheeks.

Shaindy Lev and her chassan are both from poor families with many children. Without a mother or father to help her, Shaindy is on her own. A hachnasas kallah fund has been opened to help her afford the basics needed by a bride, including the basics for a small ceremony, sheva brachos, and necessities for her first home.

Those who are able to help can do so here for a limited time.



top