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shvartse khasene

Last month, a peculiar wedding ceremony took place at a cemetery in Bnei Brak, a city in Israel, just east of Tel Aviv. With government regulation prohibiting large gatherings in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic, the wedding was a small affair with only a few attendants huddled under a small black canopy, the chuppah. The groom was an orphan and while the identify of the bride was not disclosed, she was probably an orphan herself. The two had never met before, never known each other. These essential strangers were the unwilling participants of a ritual known as shvartse khasene (black wedding) or mageyfe khasene (plague wedding), where the local Jewish community forcibly marries off two of the most marginal residents of the town in an effort to ward of diseases.


© Amusing Planet, 2020.



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