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A Special Wedding


Aharon and Rachel (center) under the canopy.

There are B’nei Menashe weddings all the time, but this one was special. Have you ever heard before of a Jewish wedding officiated at by a rabbi who not only received no pay for his services but footed the bill for the entire affair?

               

The rabbi was Rabbi Oded Ein-Dror of Nof Hagalil. The groom was Aharon Vaiphei,37, who arrived in Israel from Manipur with his parents and siblings in 2021, while the bride was Rachel Singson of Bet-She’an. But let’s let Aharon tell the story himself:

              

''Rabbi Ein-Dror had been appointed by Shavei Israel to look after the Bnei Menashe community of Nof HaGalil. I approached him personally when, after my parents, brother, and sister were able to complete their conversion to Judaism soon after our arrival in Israel, my own conversion, and that of my young son from a previous marriage, were held up for no good reason. I felt totally lost until Rabbi Ein-Dror agreed to help me. Although sometime after this, he was told that his contract at Nof Hagalil was over  -- why, I don’t know – he continued to advise me and finally, after many dealings with the Rabbinate, I was able to convert late last year.

“By then,” Aharon Vaiphei continued, “I had gotten to know my future wife, whom I met through my mother. I told Rabbi Ein-Dror that we were planning to get married and requested him to officiate our wedding, since he already knew me well. I told him it was going to be a very small wedding, since we could not afford a larger one. ‘Don’t worry about that,’ he said. ‘Invite as many friends and relatives as you like and let it be my wedding gift.’ In  the end we invited about 150 guests, but a lot more just turned up. There must have been 200 people there altogether -- all at Rabbi Ein-Dror’s expense.”

           

Rabbi Ein-Dror was unavailable for comment. Let the comment then be ours: his caring and generosity will never be forgotten!



Rabbi Ein-Dror conducting the wedding.
Guests enjoying the celebration.











 


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