Sara Litman and her fiance Ariel
Sara Litman and her fiance Ariel Eliran Aharon

In just a few days' time Sara Tehiya Litman - whose father and brother were murdered in a drive-by shooting near Hevron - will be getting married to her fiance Ariel Beigel.

The Litman family were attacked by Arab terrorists close to the town of Otniel in Judea, as they made their way to the pre-wedding Shabbat Chatan celebration for Ariel. The terrorist overtook their car, spraying it with bullets, before one of the killers emerged from the vehicle and shot several more shots at the prone vehicle.

Sara's father, Rabbi Ya'akov Litman, was fatally wounded in the initial barrage of gunfire, while her 18-year-old brother Netanel was gunned down in cold blood as he emerged from the car to call emergency services. Their 16-year-old brother was shot in the leg, and Sara's mother and young sisters were hospitalized with light injuries as well.

Despite the terrible tragedy, Sara and Ariel quickly made an astonishing announcement, which has since gripped the entire State of Israel and the wider Jewish world. Instead of calling off or toning down their wedding, they instead rescheduled it to take place this week at Binyanei Ha'uma in Jerusalem. Not only that; in a remarkable show of defiance to the terrorists, who carried out their attack just days before the wedding was initially scheduled, the soon-to-be-married couple have invited all of Israel to celebrate together with them.

Where Sara's father and brother should have stood, thousands of Jews will stand in their place, in a powerful message to the murderers and their supporters that the eternal Jewish spirit cannot be crushed, and that rather than surrendering to fear and mourning the people of Israel are united in their celebration of life.

While not everyone will be able to make it to the wedding itself, people can still take part by donating a gift to the newlyweds, courtesy of a special fund set up by Rabbi Yitzhak Neriah, Dean of the Torah Be'Tzion yeshiva in Jerusalem.

"I was thinking how to make the couple happy," he told Arutz Sheva, "and I came up with an idea through which all the people of Israel can take part in the wedding, even if they aren't coming physically" to the event itself.

"The couple themselves invited all the nation of Israel; those who will come - they'll be welcome. Those who won't - they can bring a gift."

He said he personally knew of many people who wanted to come but for personal reasons were unable to get there.

Any amount will be welcome, he said, and stressed that every single penny donated will go straight towards buying gifts for the couple.

"It goes without saying that all the money will be passed on straight to the couple - no fees, no financial intermediation, and without taking any commission.

"If you give to the fund, you're giving to the couple."

Rabbi Neriah noted that in making their statement and inviting the entire country to their celebration, the families were exhibiting their own remarkable generosity, since they knew they would have to move to a much larger and more expensive venue to accommodate the many guests who are expected to come.

"I think that giving a gift is a sort of embrace for the couple" at such a trying time for them, he added.

The young couple announced their bittersweet celebration would go on - and invited all of Israel - last week, as the shiva mourning period for Ya'akov and Netanel was still going on.

"We want to invite all those who share our pain," Sara announced to Israel media. "To show the banner of victory, to show that the Palestinians try to cut off our lives but we continue them.

"We will be happy and we will continue in the way of father and Netanel."

Her fiance Ariel added: "We are inviting the nation of Israel to come and rejoice at our celebration, at the wedding, God-willing, next Thursday, 14 Kislev (November 26) at Binyanei Ha'uma in Jerusalem, from 10 p.m."

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