Entry Title: "
All God's Children"
Category: Professional, Wedding
Entry Description: Safed, Northern Israel- Keren and Avichai wish for the same things any other people want; to love and be loved, being free of other's prejudice and to have a life of their own. Keren and Avichai were born with down's syndrome. Their love story begins twenty
years ago, in Alaska, a six days old baby was abandoned at the Benbaruch home, a Hassidic family with a down's syndrome child . The Benbaruch named the little girl ,Keren (Ray of Light- in Hebrew), and Chaya nursed the two babies and raised Keren as her own.
In Safed, northern Israel, where the family settled when the children were small, Keren and Avichai grew up inseparable. Since very early age, according to Chaya, all the Benbaruch 6 children understood Keren is a very special child in the family.
The Benbaruch are religious people and when Avichai and Keren approached them again and again asking to marry they consulted with Rabbis who gave their blessing for the matrimony.
Israel and Chaya feared that should anything happen to them, according to Jewish religious rules of gender, Keren and Avichai risk to end up in segregated hostels for handicapped; "It is a true and pure love, they can not live one without the other" , says Chaya, who both Keren and Avichai call "Ima" (mom)
The preparations for the marriage began with the young couple choosing the location - the bride's gown was selected together and purchased on e-Bay.
The day of the marriage, the couple was growing impatient, dressed up and ready long hours before their marriage; the veil kept coming on and off , makeup applied and reapplied,
Not a dry eye left during the ceremony led by chief Rabbi of Safed. At sun set some 150 Haredi and secular guests, many parents to handicapped children, surrounded the red chuppa held by Avichai's friends, when the groom broke the glass the crowd roared " Mazal Tov" , a Rabbi reached to wipe Avichai's forehead, Chaya squeezed Keren's hand for reassurance, Israel held to his son, there was no need, the two stood beaming with joy holding their Ketubah (Jewish wedding contract) where it reads "Avichai, son of Israel Benbaruch - Keren, daughter of Abraham The Patriarch" are husband and wife.