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November 27, 2015 4:38 pm

Wedding of Terror Victim’s Daughter Becomes Symbol of National Unity as Thousands Gather to Celebrate

avatar by Shiryn Solny

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Sara Netanyahu at the wedding of Sarah Litman and Ariel Biegel. Photo: Facebook.

Sara Netanyahu at the wedding of Sarah Litman and Ariel Biegel. Photo: Facebook.

A crowd of thousands gathered in front of Jerusalem’s International Convention Center on Thursday night to celebrate the marriage of Sarah Litman and Ariel Biegel just 13 days after the bride’s father and brother were brutally murdered by a Palestinian terrorist.

A video of the event circulating on Facebook shows the bustling crowd outside the wedding waving Israeli flags and dancing to chants of “Am Yisrael Chai (the nation of Israel lives).” StandWithUs, the pro-Israel advocacy group that published the footage, said it captured the spirit of Israelis in the face of daily terror attacks.

“This is why Israel will never be defeated by terrorists, armies, any other power that seeks to destroy the Jewish people,” the group said on Facebook.

In another Facebook post, one wedding guest added, “Singing along to ‘Am Yisroel Chai’ with thousands of people, my people, was something I will never ever forget. The unity that was there is the reason we, as the Jewish nation, have always been, are now, and will always be here!”

Litman’s father, Rabbi Yaakov Litman, and her 18-year-old brother Netanel were shot dead in a terror ambush as they drove on Route 60 in the southern West Bank on Nov. 13. Other family members also traveling in the car were lightly wounded. They were on their way to join Sarah in a pre-wedding celebration on Shabbat eve.

Days after the attack, Litman and Biegel released a public wedding invitation calling on everyone to celebrate with them at the event. The nuptials were postponed from the originally scheduled date of Nov.16.

Shira Jacobson, another member of the public who attended the wedding, published a video from inside the ceremony where guests were singing to the bride and groom. In a Facebook post, she gushed over the “height of unity” achieved that night as she stood beside fellow Israelis from all walks of life.

“The feeling of selflessness flowed throughout the hall and into the mobs of people waiting to enter,” she said. “Each person came to do the mitzvah [commandment] of making a bride and groom happy, which is one of the highest good deeds a person can do. The love was that of family. The happiness was that of salvation. The unity was that of redemption.”

Another attendee praised Litman’s personality and strength of character. The guest wrote on Facebook, “Sarah Techiya Litman is an incredible and powerful woman. She is the face of the entire Jewish nation, expressing our ability to overcome pain and sorrow, to dance and sing in the face of terror.”

Thousands of others shared photos and videos of the scene at the wedding on various social media networks. Sara Netanyahu, the wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, posed for photos at the wedding with the bride and groom and their families. Sara told the couple that she carried warm greetings on behalf of all of Israel.

“I’m hugging you in my name, in the name of the prime minister and in the name of all of Israel,” she said while embracing the bride. “I hope you will build a faithful home in Israel.”

Some guests at the wedding had traveled from outside the country. Chabad on Campus in Queens, NY, organized for eights students from the US and Canada to visit Israel and attend the festivities, as well as visit the families of other terror victims. At the wedding, one US student took a selfie with the bride and posted it on Instagram.

A group of 12 people from Montreal, Canada flew to Israel to attend the wedding, according to former Knesset Member Rabbi Dov Lipman, who met with the group when they arrived in the Jewish state.

Rabbi Lipman said the visit by the Canadians, headed by Rabbi Mark Fishman of Congregation Beth Tikvah in Montreal,  “demonstrates the special quality that we have as a people. I jumped at the opportunity to welcome them and meet them and they filled me with inspiration and hope during this difficult time.”

Rabbi Fishman said about attending the wedding, “This is what am yisrael [the Jewish nation] is. This is the story of the Jewish people. We are not defeated by tragedy.”

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  • “A United Israel is a Strong Israel” Unity above all is a key to survival by YJ Draiman

    “We must be ready to sacrifice all for our country Israel. For history does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid. We must continue to acquire proficiency in defense and display determination and stamina in purpose.” Never surrender – we are fighting for our survival and the alternative is extinction.
    Israel’s mission first and foremost is to take care of the Jewish people and insure their safety and security in Israel.Israel’s obligation is to its Jewish People and not to pacify the world at large. The historical facts are that for thousands of years the world at large has always persecuted the Jewish people and stood idle while millions of Jews are exterminated and persecuted.
    Right now we are in a badly separated, internally struggling, bickering state both within Israel and also in the Diaspora. And our enemies are happily latching onto this internal fragmentation exploiting us against each other and leading successful campaigns against us on all fronts.
    No political wisdom, trickery neither weapons and a mighty army can save Israel or Jews worldwide unless we rise above our differences, above our argumentative nature and form a single united Nation that is impenetrable.
    And that wouldn’t just save us but would blaze a trail of hope for others in this crazy world where there are no allies or friends any more only enemies waiting for the opportunity to destroy each other.
    We may not agree on everything, but we must respect each other and work together for our common goal which is survival in this hostile world which is on a spiral deterioration.
    “A United Israel is a Strong Israel”
    YJ Draiman

  • Joy D. Brower

    This story absolutely filled me with pride, tears and hope. The bride was incredibly strong to carry on with her wedding plans despite the family tragedy. Of course, this is G-d’s plan and He infused her – and her equally grieving family – with the necessary strength to “carry on.” I can only imagine the feeling of UNITY and LOVE that filled the Convention center (inside & out) that evening! May her father and brother RIP, no longer a target for wanton and cruel terrorism. And may her surviving family also find the continuing strength to “carry on” and give blessings for the wedding and continuation of Life, which, of course, a wedding, blessed by G-D, guarantees.

  • I am a friend and admirer of Am Ysrael (the people) and am inspired by the spirit of everyone involved in the Wedding and ceremony.

    I and a large number of people I know, are supporters of your people and your nation. We remind our congress and idiots we elected of our need and responsibility to support you too.

    You, and your people demonstrate your faith and inspire us more than you will ever know. Do not give up on us, obama will eventually leave office. We have faith that the next President will be true…tous all.