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“The Million-person Wedding”

03/2016

On November 13, 2015, Sarah Litman’s father, Rabbi Yaakov Litman, and 18-year-old brother Netanel were slain on their way to her wedding preparations, when Palestinian terrorists opened fire at their vehicle near the West Bank settlement of Otniel.

Just four days later, on the day that her wedding was to take place, 21-year-old Litman, announced defiantly that the family would not be crushed by terrorists, but instead, would be joined in their happiness by the Jewish nation at what they called “the million-person wedding.”

Litman together with her groom Ariel Beigel, celebrated their wedding at a massive event in Binyanei Hauma function hall, in Jerusalem, with thousands of friends, relatives and total strangers, who responded to the couple’s invitation, to share in their celebration.

The couple thanked the public who came to join in the festivities. “Until two weeks ago, nobody knew or was interested in me and Ariel, then one minute on Friday – at the height of preparations – my father and brother were murdered by a heinous terrorist,” said Sarah. “There is not a moment in which I do not miss the smile of Netanel and the humility and modesty of my father, it will always accompany me.

“But precisely in the midst of the pain, in the month of bravery before Hannukah, we will spread, together with all of the people of Israel, an immense light of happiness, giving and love which was bestowed upon us by the nation of Israel. The main thing is not to fear at all.”
Jews from all over the world flew in for the wedding and multiple online fundraising campaigns, raised thousands of dollars for the young couple. In addition, companies and private individuals chipped in to sponsor elements of the wedding.

Aharon Rigler, Sara’s uncle explained that the wedding is bittersweet for family members.

“The hugs and the warmth that the couple have been receiving have buoyed them to come to this wedding with happiness. Reb Yaakov and his son Netanel will be missed and the ache will be with us forever but the simcha (celebration) of establishing a new family will overpower the sadness during these moments. As Sara said at the levaya (funeral,) the knowledge and the feeling that they will be watching from above and sharing in the simcha gives everyone the strength to endure the loss and to rejoice.”
After the attack, Beigel said that he and his bride will not let terrorists prevent them for forging ahead.
“We won’t let them stop our lives,” said Rigler. “We will continue. We will get married. We will bring happiness to the family. We will build a Jewish home and we will continue the direction that they started but we cannot just stop. We must continue living.”

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