16-year-old Menachem Mendel Reuven.
Granddaughter of late Neturei Karta leader, 19, marries 16-year-old groom under veil of secrecy; bride wears black coat over wedding dress as part of strict modesty rules
One of the most talked about weddings in the ultra-Orthodox sector was held last weekend under a veil of secrecy. Chaya Sara Nehama, 19, granddaughter of the late leader of the extreme Neturei Karta faction, Moshe Hirsch, married 16-year-old Menachem Mendel Reuven.
The family became known for its ties with the Palestinian Authority leadership: The father of the bride was appointed as the PA's minister for Jewish affairs by Yasser Arafat.
This time, the family members tried to avoid any media coverage of the event, and chose to hold the modest wedding ceremony at the home of the bride's parents in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighborhood.
As proof of their strong stand against the State of Israel's existence, they made sure to mention in the invitations that the event would be held at "the holy city of Jerusalem, Palestine." Accordingly, the time of the wedding ceremony was mentioned in Central European Time.
Ahead of the wedding day, the family learned that the wedding had sparked a great deal of interest in the haredi sector, especially in light of the fact that the bride observes strict modesty rules. Therefore, it was decided to move up the wedding ceremony from 2 pm to 7 am, and hold it in a private house outside the neighborhood.
The modest bride wore a white dress covered with a black coat. According to one of Hirsch's neighbors, before they decided to marry her husband looked at her just once during a conversation which last several minutes.
"I'm sure it was enough, as she's a beautiful girl," he noted.
The joyous occasion was celebrated in the evening, in a modest meal at the home of the bride's parents. The guests were greeted by a Palestinian flag decorated with the word "Welcome" in Arabic and English.
The family members sat around the tables and sang Shabbat and weddings songs. Women were nowhere to be found, and one of the guests explained that they were in a different house.
Some of those present discussed the odd way in which the family chose to hold the wedding. "It’s unclear why it wasn't held in a banquet hall," one of them said.
Another one teased, "Perhaps it's because the family has stopped receiving funds from the Palestinian Authority."