By Sivan Rahav Meir
A video clip that went viral recently was titled “93-year-old bride, 91-year-old groom, there’s hope!”
I decided to verify the details and it turns out that the story is true.
This couple in their 90s indeed got married according to halacha in recent days. Rabbi Avraham Shiler, Rabbi of the Israeli village of Ali who officiated, provided the details:
“This couple Walt and Esther were married years ago in Russia in a civil union. It was during the period that practicing Judaism was forbidden.
“The kallah told us that she was ordered to go to school on Yom Kippur and specifically on that day, they took the class on a picnic. She went but refused to eat despite the danger of being caught keeping Judaism.
“The couple experienced many difficult trials over the years. Only recently did they discover that were never married according to Jewish law.
“Here’s a little detail that illustrates who they are: It bothered them that they are receiving Social Security as separate individuals and therefore, are receiving more then they should be getting as a couple.
“They did not want to steal from the government and decided to get married officially.
“The village organized them a kosher wedding in the local club for seniors and each person brought something for the celebration.
“We had there a kesuba, a glass and a ring. I said that I feel like we are taking another step in the victory of mankind over Joseph Stalin. He wanted to eradicate our identity and here we provide that he did not succeed and that it’s never too late.”