Virtually all weddings are prohibited during the ongoing nationwide lockdown, a senior Religious Affairs Ministry official has informed the state’s marriage registrar.
In a letter penned by Rabbi Hezkiyahu Samin, who heads the Religious Affairs Ministry’s religious services department, to the state marriage registrar, the rabbi noted that under the restrictions passed by the government, even small wedding services are prohibited in nearly all cases.
Rabbi Samin noted that weddings are not one of the cases exempted from the ban on travelling more than one kilometer from one’s home. Therefore, unless the engaged couple live within 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) of each other, they may not meet together for their own wedding, effectively barring them from getting married during the lockdown.
While other celebrations, including circumcisions and funerals were explicitly exempted from the travel restriction, weddings were not, Rabbi Samin wrote.
“According to the cited regulation there is a complete prohibition on leaving one’s place of residence…to public areas, with 21 exceptions or activities for which it is permitted to go to publicareas. According to the regulations, taking part in or holding a wedding is not one of the permitted activities.”
“Therefore, the rule is that organizing or taking part in a wedding is not permitted under the rules.”
Rabbi Samin also noted that aside from the ban on the couple coming together for the wedding – unless they live within a kilometer of each other – rabbis are barred from officiating at weddings, unless they are the officially appointed rabbi of a town or neighborhood, in which case they are able to travel beyond the 1,000 meter limit for work-related purposes.