Three Supreme Court justices on Tuesday night rejected an appeal submitted by the Gur hasidic sect and groom Pinchas Zilberstein, demanding that the Jerusalem municipality and Israel Police explain their refusal to approve a large wedding, Kikar Hashabbat reported.
Zilberstein is the grandson of the Gur rebbe (hasidic leader), and tens of thousands of hasidim are expected to attend the wedding.
The wedding, which is scheduled for Wednesday, at 2:00p.m., and the hasidim hope that the municipality and police will still work with them, Kikar Hashabbat noted.
In their response, the justices, Noam Sohlberg, Yosef Elron, and Ofer Grosskopf wrote that "after examining the appeal and the responses to it, we have come to the conclusion that it should be rejected out of hand."
"The appeal was brought for our examination today, the 14th of Sivan (May 25), when the couple's wedding is expected to be held with G-d's help tomorrow, the 15th of Sivan (May 26). This morning I ordered the responders to submit initial responses by 3:00p.m. I stated my opinion regarding the fact that the appeal had been submitted at the last minute and the chance of acquiescing to it is low. However, due to the importance of the event in the eyes of the appellants, I left a small opening to allow for a solution. The initial response from the Jerusalem municipality was submitted within the requested time frame; the initial response from Israel Police took longer.
"Regardless, under the circumstances, since the appeal was submitted just prior to the event, there is no choice other than to reject it outright. It is true that Israel Police submitted their response slightly late, but the timetable it was trapped in was not in its favor, so it is difficult to complain about their management of things.
"This issue is serious and complex; we cannot ignore the recent disasters which have come upon us due to safety failures. The caution is praiseworthy, the hand shakes prior to giving a ruling. Even with regards to the appellants, it is hard to complain about the timing of the appeal, since the decision on their issue changed just recently."
The justices added that "in the situation created, and with time running so short," a full and proper hearing cannot be held on the matter, and the municipality and police, even if they wanted to, could hardly be expected to prepare for such a large event so quickly, and doing so may bring with it additional safety compromises. "The hours are passing, the necessary preparations are many, and the responsibility is heavy," they stated.
"Despite our great understanding of the appellants, the hasidic population, we have no way to help them with this issue; there is also a disagreement between the municipality and the police, which would best be handled by the Attorney General. We hope that despite the reduced number of attendees at this event, the couple's happiness and that of those around them will not be diminished.