Wednesday, September 3, 2008

In Ste. Agathe, a very public wedding story

The veiled bride wore a long white gown, the bearded groom wore a big black hat, and with 300 friends, relatives, dignitaries and curious onlookers gathered by the lake yesterday in this Laurentians town, the two were married in an unusually public Hasidic Jewish ceremony.

By custom and fundamentalist religious belief, Hana Sellem, a French immigrant, and Moshe Barouk, an American visiting from Florida - who met only several months ago, through a matchmaker - hadn't seen each other for one week before the ceremony. They had also fasted and studied the Torah to prepare for their big day.

Their ceremony was meant not only for them but for Ste. Agathe. Despite close to a century of Jewish presence, the town has been under a cloud lately because of an incident two weeks ago in which a visiting Montreal Jew was attacked and assaulted by a gang of local youths while walking to synagogue.


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