When a rescue dog crashed a Haredi wedding and became the life of the party

When a rescue canine crashed a ultra-Orthodox wedding and became the life of the party
Haredim dance with Teddy at Rabbi Oring's son's wedding
Haredim dance with Teddy at Rabbi Oring's son's wedding

Meet Teddy, the rescue K-9 who broke the dog-barrier in the ultra-Orthodox community and brought happiness to a groom on his wedding day.

A wedding guest embraces an IDU rescue dog

In general, the Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) community considers dogs to be sacrilegious. To see an ultra-Orthodox Jew agree to even pet a dog (let alone own one) is extremely rare. But that all changed on the evening of Rosh Chodesh Adar (the beginning of the month of Adar) when a rescue dog named Teddy was uncharacteristically invited to a Haredi wedding.

The Belgian Shepherd was invited by Rabbi Benzion Oring, the deputy director of ZAKA in Jerusalem. He also happens to be the father of the groom. As an official in Israel’s most widely known network of volunteer first responders, it only made sense that Rabbi Oring developed an admiration for some of the most highly skilled rescuers in Israel-the dogs of the Israel Dog Unit.

The Israel Dog Unit (Yachal) is also a voluntary organization that trains dogs to protect vulnerable Jews throughout Israel from both harm and property theft. However, they also train tracking as well as search and rescue dogs who work closely with ZAKA to help the Israeli police locate and identify missing persons.

Since ZAKA works shoulder to shoulder with the IDU on missing person incidences, it is only natural that a relationship of mutual admiration would develop. After all, ZAKA are the ones who collect the body parts of the deceased as is commanded in Judaism. But the dogs of the Israel Dog Unit are the ones trained to track, detect and find those very body parts.

Haredim dance with Teddy at Rabbi Oring’s son’s wedding

Rabbi Benzion Oring, impressed with the Israeli Dog Unit’s work, made the bold decision to break the Haredi dog barrier and invited a highly trained Belgian Malinois Shepherd named Teddy to his son’s wedding. This controversial decision raised many eyebrows. But that all changed once the festivities got started.

That’s because once the party kicked off, Teddy instantly became the life of the party. Wedding guests fought each other for the privilege to dance with their new four-legged friend.

Posted by ‎אהרון שטרייכר‎ on Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Moshe, Teddy’s handler and IDU volunteer added: “Teddy was pleased to make the bride and groom happy, and to eat some grilled schnitzel.”

Is this wedding a watershed moment in Haredi history? Will the ultra-Orthodox finally appreciate man’s best friend? Whatever the outcome, one thing’s for sure — making a bridegroom happy on his wedding day while scoring some schnitzel is a win-win for both the dog and the bridegroom.

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About the Author
David Sidman is a candidate in the Zehut political party, Israel activist and contributor to He is also a professional dog trainer. You can follow him at @theIsraeliShow
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