Rachel Malakhai, a data scientist in the US and the daughter of the former crime branch SP Benoy Malakhai got married to Richard Zachary Rowe, an American citizen, and a Nasa engineer tied the knot in a traditional Jewish wedding ceremony on Sunday in Kochi.
This was a momentous occasion for the state as it was the first wedding in the Jewish community in Kerala in almost 15 years, overall it is the fifth wedding ceremony celebrated in the state over the last 70 years.
According to the family, it is also the first wedding to happen outside a synagogue in Kerala, as reported by ANI. Instead, the family decided to host the ceremony in a private resort to better accommodate 300 guests, which included family, friends, and community members in attendance.
The rabbi, Aerial Sharon, flew in from Israel to officiate the wedding under a traditional canopy that is a symbol of home, called ‘Huppah’.
This is a rare event as the last Jewish wedding held in the state was in 2008, following a 20-year gap at the Thekkumbhagam synagogue, Mattancherry. The custom requires the presence of at least 10 Jewish people for the wedding.
According to the report, some historians state that the first Jews to reach Kerala were traders who had arrived during the time of King Solomon, which dates back more than 2,000 years.
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Today, however, the Jewish community in Kochi is down to 25 members as the community has slowly migrated to Israel.