Mea Shearim, Jerusalem

Aaron Kreus, 18, is the oldest out of 15 syblings, he lives in the Ultra Orthodox neighbourhood Mea Shearim in Jerusalem, where family is the core. One of the most important days in the life of a mother and a father is when their first born child gets married. 

As a son or a daughter approaches the age to be wed, the family does its best to find a partner that fits. There is no romance involved. The point is to find a partner with whom a family can be built.

This is the day Aaron got married to Hannah Rivke. They used to play as kids but had met only once before as teenagers, behind open doors, with parents close by.

Home tailored wedding dresses for Aaron’s younger sisters lie on the living room table.

Ittaleh helps her smallest sister to get dressed for the wedding.

Aaron speaks to mother Rachel an hour before his wedding.

Aarons arranges his peyots before his wedding

Yoel, father of 15, smokes a cigarette while he puts on a Jerusalem Kaften before his oldest son Aaron's wedding.

Aaron’s mother, aunt and a few of his sisters walk towards through Mea Shearim, towards the wedding hall. 

The mothers of bride and groom leads the bride to the Chuppa where a traditional Jewish wedding ceremony will take place.

Yisrael Meier Hirsch, leader of Anti-Zionist movement Neturei Karta, takes care of 3-year old Attaleh during the Chuppa ceremony at her oldest brother Aaron’s wedding.

Aaron Kreus wears a shtreimel as he poses for a picture on the eve of his wedding inside the room where he will have a first meal in private with his wife.

Newly wed groom Aaron Kreus waits at the middle of a staircase for a sign from father Yoel who stands below, to join his wife for a first dinner in a private room in a recpetion hall in Mea Shearim.

Newly couple Aaron and Hannah Rivke smile after their first meal and a short moment alone together while their mothers guard the door in order to let in only family members to congratulate the bride and groom.

Ultra-orthodox Jewish girls are seen outside the wedding hall.

Aaron’s bride Rivke stands in the doorway to the men’s section before a Sheva Brahot

An Ultra-Orthodox girl crawls under a chair to look for candies on the dancefloor.

Ultra-orthodox Jewish girls and women dance.

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish girls look through a mirrored window which separates men and women.

Rivke’s grandmother places a veil over the brides face after a Mitzve Tanz.

Rachel Kreus, mother of 15 children, looks through the curtain that divides women from men while a Mitzve tanz is being held at her oldest son’s wedding.

Family members look through the curtain which separates men and women during the wedding ceremony while a Mitzve Tanz dance is being held.

Ultra-Orthodox women look through the curtain which separates men and women during the wedding ceremony while a Mitzve Tanz dance is being held.

Yoel and Rachel speak through the separation curtain.

Aaron’s little sister Ittaleh throws a glance at her reflection in a mirrored window which separates men and women.

Women look through the curtain onto the men’s section as the traditional Mitzve Tanz is being held.

The newly weds, ready to go home, wait for a taxi outside of the wedding hall after the wedding celebrations.

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