Here comes the bride - in the bomb shelter

bride bomb shelter 298ap (photo credit: AP )
bride bomb shelter 298ap
(photo credit: AP )
Ten months ago, Shlomi Buskila, 29, a native of Kiryat Shmona, was on his way to his nephew's wedding in the town when he stopped to speak to friends on a street corner. Maya Lugasi joined the group and took a look at Shlomi, and it was love at first sight. They decided to get married. The wedding date was set for July 20 at the Tehila banquet hall and 800 guests were invited. Then the war broke out. The problem: Home Front Command instructions do not permit public gatherings in communities within range of Katyusha rockets. The solution: on Sunday, guests were informed of the new venue, the Matmid religious high school's bomb shelter. Only a kilometer to the west of the school, just over the mountain ridge, is Lebanon. Throughout the day, the silence of a deserted Kiryat Shmona is pierced by deafening booms - usually the sound of Israeli artillery pieces, but sometimes the noise of incoming Katyushas exploding. "This is the day we've been waiting for and I'm not going to let the terrorists destroy the happiest day of my life," said Shlomi. "We are getting married in the bomb shelter and later, when the situation calms down, we will reschedule the party." About 50 guests turned up, including 20 out-of-towners who decided to risk it. Buskila's sister, Shula Dadosh, said the family sought advice from a rabbi. "We could have postponed the event, but for Moroccan Jews it's bad luck to cancel a wedding once a date has been set," she said. "So we're going ahead and we're determined to make it a festive occasion." The bride, 22-year-old Lugasi, appeared to be in shock as she walked down the steps toward the bomb shelter. It was not clear if this was a result of the deafening artillery booms every few minutes or from seeing more than 40 media representatives pushing and shoving for a good position. The four poles of the blue huppa touched the ceiling of the bomb shelter. Rabbi Nissim Malka, while conducting the unique ceremony, said a prayer for the safe return of all the soldiers and the safety of all Kiryat Shmona residents. "Our first night as man and wife we'll have to spend in a bomb shelter instead of a hotel room," said Maya after the ceremony. Flora Yerucham, a Kiryat Shmona resident who knows both families, expressed mixed emotions. "On the one hand it's a sad day because a big event was planned. But on the other hand we are happy because the wedding is going ahead." She added defiantly, "Hizbullah should learn that they cannot destroy our routine."