An Israeli court has ordered that the owners of the Vasilio wedding hall in Yavne must pay 10,000 shekels ($2,500) to a Messianic couple for refusing to rent the hall to them for their wedding after the couple said they wanted to read New Testament scriptures under the hupa.
The couple told KNI that an employee at the wedding hall quoted the kashrut supervisor as saying that a wedding with New Testament scriptures “bordered on terrorism” and that “Messianic Judaism is idolatry.”
While ruling in the couple’s favor, Judge Carmit Ben Eliezer of the Shalom court in Rishon Letzion said she awarded them a low amount because the wedding hall representative they dealt with was inexperienced and because the couple rejected a settlement and apology offered by the hall.
The couple disputes the claim that ”the representative was new and inexperienced and accidentally contacted the kosher overseer of the hall who made it clear that accepting the request would result in denial of the kosher certificate of the hall.” They claim it is inaccurate since the representative is the manager’s brother and because they spoke with him twice, the first time in person and the second time over the phone to confirm they could not hold their wedding there. The representative contacted them two hours later reiterating the refusal.
The couple claimed discrimination, insult and humiliation. They also feared they would be rejected when they contacted other places.
While the couple does not hold a grudge against those involved in the case, they decided to go ahead with their lawsuit rather than accept a settlement so that their case could set a precedent for other Messianic believers who may be potentially rejected because of their faith.
The couple said the low compensation doesn’t bother them because they realize the refusal by the inexperienced representative was not malicious, just human error. They also feel this was an opportunity to represent the body of Messiah and stand up for their rights, to create a precedent for future cases and also to reflect the nature of Messiah throughout the process.
But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream! – Amos 5:24