NEW YORK, Dec. 10 (JTA) — It sounds like a wedding planner’s nightmare — you plan a marriage and 30,000 people come. But that scenario happened recently at the Tel Aviv exhibition hall when a couple from two different Chasidic families exchanged wedding vows. The bride, Machla Hager, is the daughter of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Hager, who is the heir apparent to the helm of the Viznitz group, which is based in the Tel Aviv suburb of Bnei Brak. The groom is Rabbi Mordechai Katz, the son of Rabbi Hershel Katz, head of the rabbinical court of the Vien community in Brooklyn, N.Y. Large weddings are common among the fervently Orthodox, particularly in Israel. There are two reasons for such large ceremonies, said Zalman Shmotkin of the Lubavitch World Headquarters in Brooklyn, N.Y. Having people attend a wedding to make the bride and groom happy is a mitzvah, and when there are thousands of people dancing at the wedding, there’s a certain amount of joy in the air, he said. He added that people also want to share the joy of their rebbe. For the event, Coca-Cola printed up special labels featuring a crown displaying the names of the bride and groom next to Coke’s logo.
ADVERTISEMENT: The transgender abba. The first female Hasidic judge. The Argentine-Brazilian-Israeli Jew living in Brooklyn. Help us tell these stories in our new series Chosen. We need your vote to make it happen. Vote today!