Friday, June 09, 2023

 Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory.

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Jerusalem, June 8 - The Religious Council notified a local couple today that they might be required to undergo their marriage ceremony a second time to ensure its propriety, the bride and groom reported today, because at the gatherings before and following the original ceremony, not a single chocolate items appeared, not even at dessert, rendering the entire event moot.

Tehilla and Yosef Birnbaum held their wedding at the Ramat Rachel complex last week, with more than two hundred family and friends in attendance. The officiating Rabbi took pains beforehand to explain to each half of the couple the various elements of the proceedings and the requirements for ensuring they have force according to Jewish law: the value of the ring; the groom's ownership of the ring; each party's affirmation of understanding the contents of the marriage contract; the validity of the witnesses to the contract and to the ceremony itself; and numerous other details. He did not, however, stress the importance of chocolate in providing full validity to the marriage ceremony, operating under the assumption that anyone with a functioning brain knows how automatic the association between chocolate and celebration is.

A Rabbinate spokesman acknowledged that this case lacks precedent. "We've never encountered anything like this in institutional memory," stated Rabbi Hersh Iczaklatt. "While it's possible that chocolateless weddings have taken place under the auspices of the Chief Rabbinate, whether under Israeli, British, or possibly Ottoman rule, we have no explicit attestations to them, and cannot therefore assume their validity."

"Earlier sources are less than illuminating, but for different reasons," he continued. "We know chocolate only left the Americas and spread to the rest of the world about five centuries ago. Until chocolate became a standard confection or dessert item, and not merely the province of the wealthy, a wedding without chocolate posed no problem. But Jewish law is a practical system, a system of the experiential and the expectations that common experience produces. Once chocolate evolved into its ubiquitous role in celebration, it attained a status on par with all the other implied or expected elements of a transaction that go without saying: if they are lacking, we are concerned that one or both of the parties will feel defrauded, and the transaction is void."

"The initiation of the first stage of a Jewish marriage involves a transaction," he explained further, "in which the groom, through the medium of giving the bride an item of value - traditionally, a plain gold ring - assumes responsibility for her welfare, sustenance, and security. But both groom and bride must consent to the transaction for it to have validity, and thus, if there is an implied availability of chocolate associated with the wedding, an expectation created through several generations of chocolate's place of pride among standard celebration elements, then we might be required to assume its absence violates an implied condition of the transaction's - and thus the marriage's - validity."

Rabbi Iczaklatt lamented that, presumably owing to the shame of not wanting to provide chocolate, neither the caterer nor the couple will admit to failing to include chocolate, complicating the task of determining whether there could have been an element of consent to the standards violation.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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