The famous New York Square has now seen it all: Times Square, the beating heart of New York City, was aflutter this week when a Hasidic couple chose to perform their wedding ceremony there. At 05:30pm, a cheerful parade accompanied by a Klezmer orchestra, guests in elegant Hasidic garb, and many other tourists who found themselves momentary guests, took out their cameras to capture the moving scene.
The couple, according to the American Chabad website, comes from a privileged background within the ultra-Orthodox world: the groom, Yaakov Yehuda (JJ) Hecht, 23, of Brooklyn, New York, is a descendant of a well renowned family of Rabbis. And the bride is 20-year-old Hadassah Halperin from Toronto, who is a descendant of Chabad founder Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi.
The Chuppah (a canopy under which a Jewish couple stand during their wedding ceremony) was conducted by the groom's father, Rabbi Shaya Hecht, who told COL live that the purpose of the public wedding ceremony was to strengthen the status of matrimony in general, and of Jewish matrimony in particular.
"Many no longer believe in marriage, and we hope that this Chuppah makes a statement. Spiritually, we must conquer the world, and there is no better way to do it than at a Jewish wedding." From there, the celebrants walked to the nearby Edison ballroom to continue the festivities.
(Translated and edited by N. Elias)