Photo Credit: Kikar Shabbat video screen grab, courtesy of the wedding photographer
Be'er Sheva City Rabbi Yehuda Deri conducts impromptu wedding in a bomb shelter as Red Alert sirens wail their warnings outside. (May 2019)

On Sunday, Be’er Sheva Chief Rabbi Yehuda Deri arrived at his building’s bomb shelter to find a bride and groom there, waiting anxiously to be married. The ceremony was reported on the Hebrew-language Kikar Shabbat website.


The rabbi was at his office in the city’s religious services council, but suddenly the air raid sirens began to wail, warning of another missile attack from Gaza.

When the rabbi reached the shelter, he noticed the family members, together with a bridge and groom who were ready to get married but had had difficulty due to the relentless attacks in the south.

The couple, both Ashkenazi, are accustomed to marry on the first day of a Hebrew month despite this being the period between Passover and Shavuot, a time during which there are customarily no weddings, except on certain days.

They were therefore surprised when the rabbi told them that he would deviate from his custom, also of not holding weddings in the afternoon, and due to the security situation in accordance with Jewish law, would marry them.

Ironically, the mother of the bride told the rabbi that her daughter was born while Scud missiles were being fired at Israel from Iraq during the Gulf War, noting that once again, she was taking a momentous step in life, while being shot at.

The rabbi blessed the newlyweds with a “special life,” and “blessed generations.”

Even in the darkest moments, one can create light.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.