Ari Fill assumed he would never get married – or at least, everyone told me that was the case. His family was known, and not for the reasons he wanted. His mother had suffered from cancer for years and after the illness had drained the family of everything they had, she passed away.
The youngest sibling in the family was only 3. Everyone heard about the tragedy, and felt bad for them. Everyone knew they were poor.
And so, Ari accepted that he would probably never find a kallah who would marry someone who had nothing to offer her financially. That was before he met Rochel. Rochel Greenbaum saw beyond the tragedy, into the heart of who Ari really was: A special and kind person who kept his optimism through loss.
The two had their vort last week, a very small celebration attended by the Erlau rebbe, who visited to wish them “mazel tov.” The pictures show a young bride and groom with beaming smiles, despite their uncertain future. Ari’s father, who has stepped in to care for all of the children since his wife’s passing, looks tired and worried. He knows that he has no way to afford a simcha.
Donations are being collected to help Ari & Rochel build a bayis ne’eman b’yisroel. They are missing even the most basic things: A hall, invitations, food for the guests, a wedding dress, a ring, a suit, clothing for siblings, sheva brachos, an apartment to move into, furniture, appliances, etc.
Though a wedding comes with many costs, and engagements can often be extremely expensive, Ari & Rochel’s story is a reminder that building a bayis is about seeing beyond who the person is “on paper.”