The wedding of Inna Zyskind and Pavel Kogan last week was one of the happiest days of their lives.

Friends and family watched as they exchanged vows and rings under a canopy in their quirky designer outfits. Then more than 1,000 guests attended an open-air festival in Tel Aviv, with street performers and musicians, partying long into the night.

The couple’s only regret is that their marriage is not legally recognised in Israel. In fact, it was organised by activist groups as part of a colourful protest against religious restrictions on who can marry.

Inna, who was born in Russia, was able to move here and become an Israeli citizen under the state’s law of return for Jews. But she is not recognised as truly Jewish by Israel’s orthodox rabbinical establishment. And in Israel, only religious marriages, not civil ones, are allowed…

This was our demonstration,” says Pavel. “We’re secular people. We want to break the religious monopoly over this part of our life in Israel. We should be allowed a civil wedding…”

Good thing we needn’t worry about theocracy here in the good old USA.




  1. Gary, the dangerous infidel says:

    When the Jewish religion is considered to be a trait inherited at birth through the maternal bloodline, the line between race and religion gets a little blurry.

    I may have a few issues with hard-liner Jews concerning their religion, but I have to credit them with being right about one important fact. Jesus was just another person whose mother got knocked-up before she was married. What can I say? When they’re right, they’re right!

  2. What? says:

    If the word of God is to believed, he created the first mother, Eve, though which we are all related.

    They, while in his angry and spiteful period, God wiped all people from the Earth, except Noah’s family. Through which we are all related.

    Then, while still a little mean spirited, God had Abraham create the many tribes, including those who would worship God using the name Allah instead of Yaweh, and these tribes are all related (but not maternally).

    And I’m to believe that the word of God has stipulated that some of his children aren’t really his children, and “those people” shall not marry?

    What a bunch of mindcontrol bullsheet.

    Christians have the right idea, and began after God had completed his first course in anger management, which is: we love you and want you to join our expanding loving group, and if you don’t, we’ll curse you and maybe try to stamp you out for not loving God as we say he should loved.

    Just before God’s second anger management course began, he spoke to Mohamad about starting a newer, better, religion.

  3. What? says:

    Now, of course, God speaks exclusively to Michelle Bachmann.

  4. MikeN says:

    Well perhaps I should have been more circumspect, and then you would have said the same things that caused Miss Portman to write a letter to the Harvard newspaper about how Jews are multiple races, and not just white vs brown skinned Arabs.

  5. What? says:

    The prettiest Israeli Jew I’ve ever met, had conversations with, asked to dinner, was Moroccan, and a lesbian.


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