By Lee Saunders
Last Updated 3/1/2016 at 10:20 PM
Tel Aviv: Gift-giving at Israeli weddings became much easier to understand for guests this week after a series of technological breakthroughs. Scientists at the renowned Technion Institute in Haifa unveiled a range of devices aimed at replacing the giant shekel-guzzling piggy bank that ritually stands in the corner of wedding receptions. Immigrants and native Israelis alike welcomed the news. The Daily Freier was able to speak with one such enthusiastic customer. Malcolm Green, a British Oleh Hadash noted: “When we got married, we had a wedding list at the Poundshop in Liverpool and just asked relatives to buy frying pans and food mixers. Now, everyone wants money, to pay for the very wedding you are going to! Why not just go out for a good shawarma and split the bill?”
Having attended his first wedding on an Israeli kibbutz, Aaron Stone, a new immigrant from the U.S. pointed out: “I looked at a website here designed to help you calculate the amount you are supposed to give the couple. If you know the bride more than 5 years, NIS300, more than 10, NIS1000, if you slept with the mother, you need to get them a car and stay away. It is all so odd.”
Help is soon at hand, though, following the collaboration between researchers and a number of banks and fashion houses. Now, guests can either securely leave cheques in a safety deposit box stitched into the Rabbi’s hat, throw new magnetic shekel confetti at the happy couple, or swipe credit cards at one of the wedding chuppa’s four poles, each sponsored by Mastercard, Visa, Bank Hapoalim and Bank Leumi. 5G WiFi will connect each of the poles to the most favorable exchange rates, which are etched onto the Ketubah marriage contract with a laser pen. Fathers of the bride and groom will both be able to wear special voice-activated black pants that drop on hearing the words Mazel Tov, to reveal a compact cash register.
New brides will have the option of wearing an electronic white hoodie, which holds notes and coins, and is linked by Bluetooth to the groom’s bowtie, which sorts the currency into dollars, pounds and other major currencies. Gucci, Armani and Cofix will be bringing out wedding dresses with trains and veils made from perforated standing order and direct debit instructions if guests prefer to spread payments. A secret pilot scheme was launched at the wedding of noted selective tax-payer Bar Refaeli. When the wine glass was smashed, guests could be heard screaming “Mazel Tov” and “I’m broke” simultaneously. The products will be available from Sunday for purchase by the general public on one of the hidden floors at the Dizengoff shopping mall.