Yair & Rachel
Yair & Rachel צילום: Vaad HaRabbanim

With a story like hers, they thought she’d never get married.

It was a sunny Jerusalem morning, and Rachel* was on her way to run an important errand: Seeing a hall for her upcoming wedding. Se got off the bus in front of a simple stone building, and walked into the large glass doors.

“Hello, I’m here to see the hall,” she said softly, mustering her best confident smile.

“Great,” said the employee. “When your family gets here, I will show you the rooms.”

Rachel’s heart sank. “Of course usually the kallahs come with their parents,” she thought with a twinge of embarrassment. Rachel’s father was not coming because he passed away in a car accident just outside her home. Her mom was not coming because she was working - like she always was - to support 10 kids at home.

“They won’t be coming,” she said, smiling. “Oh.” The employee was confused. “Okay.”

They entered a small event room used for weddings. This is the cheapest hall in the city and it shows. The flooring is patched and shabby, the paint beginning to peel, large enough to accommodate the smallest of family gatherings. B ut Rachel’s heart swelled with joy: She is overjoyed to be a kallah, regardless of the material things.

“We’ll take it for the 16th,” please.

As Rachel read the agreement with the hall, however, she experienced the most embarrassing moment of her life. The bottom of the form specified that there was a 500 shekel up-front fee to reserve the date.

Her eyes welled with tears. Rachel had saved up the little she had and spit it on wedding invitations that morning. She simply didn’t have 500 shekel…

And so, with her head held high and a polite, apologetic grin, Rachel said she was having second thoughts about the venue, and she said goodbye to the befuddled employee.

She walked out onto the sunny street, and the tears began to flow.

A Vaad HaRabbanim hachnasas kallah fund has been opened for Rachel & her chassan, to help them purchase the essentials.

*Details changed to protect the family’s privacy