Rabbi Never Showed Up To Wedding And Paid For It

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chupahBy Rafi G

It is very common for weddings in Israel, specifically Israeli weddings (not necessarily the weddings of anglos living in Israel) to start very late. Very very late. The time noted on the wedding invitation often has nothing to do with what time the wedding will actually begin.

COL has the story of one wedding that started late, very late, because the rabbi officiating never showed up – and he ended up paying for it, literally.

A couple from the Sharon region went to get married in a hall in Netanya. Ready to begin, the only thing missing was the rabbi. They waited and waited, unable to reach him by cellphone. With people getting impatient and some leaving, they eventually got hold of the chief rabbi of Netanya and explained the predicament. He eventually found an alternative rabbi to go to the hall and officiate the wedding. The alternate rav was arranged and came to the hall at 11 PM to conduct the wedding.

By then, many of the guests had left already, and they ended up serving only about half of the number of meals that had been ordered.

A few days later the married couple filed a lawsuit against the rabbi that was supposed to officiate but never showed up. They sued for financial damages along with grief and trauma for the disturbing and troubling experience he put them through.

The rabbi first claimed, when he finally was reached, that he had been on his way to the wedding but got lost on the way. When it went to court he said that he has diabetes and a decline in his health caused him to miss the wedding, and he only arrived home that day after midnight because of his health issue.

He also claimed that they did not provide him with adequate directions to the hall. The court rejected the claim and said he should know that they cannot get married without him and he should have been in touch with them to let them know he couldn’t get there and to make reasonable alternate arrangements.

At the end of the day, the court fined the rabbi 30,000 NIS for a combination of financial damages and grief caused, and also decided the responsibility lies solely on him and not on the religious council for which he works.

This was an extreme case. While many weddings start late, even very late, the way this wedding is described is absolutely ridiculous.

{Life in Israel/Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. Ben Torah, I’m not sure about that. It may be garmi as the nezek was certain and immediate. However, they obviously should have sued in a bet din.


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