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Photos: Alaska's first Chassidic Jewish wedding

Guests search for their table assignments at Levi and Mushky Glitsenstein's wedding, the first Chassidic Jewish wedding ever held in Alaska. August 15, 2012 Hasidism is a branch of Orthodox Judaism.
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Lacy Jensen greets the bride, Mushky Greenberg, during the Kabbalat Panim, or greeting of the bride. In Hasidic tradition, the bride and groom refrain from seeing each other before the ceremony. August 15, 2012
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The groom, Levi Glitsenstein, second from left, sings with male members of the wedding party during the groom's reception prior to the wedding ceremony. August 15, 2012
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The groom's father, Rabbi Israel Glitsenstein, left, and the bride's father, Rabbi Yosef Greenberg, far right, converse with the groom during the Kabbalat Panim. August 15, 2012
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Guests make their way to the Bedeken, or veiling ceremony. August 15, 2012
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A young guest strains to catch a glimpse of the groom entering during the Bedeken, or veiling of the bride ceremony. August 15, 2012
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The groom, with head lowered, is escorted to the bride during the Bedeken, or veiling of the bride ceremony. August 15, 2012
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The bride is veiled during the Bedeken ceremony, and remains veiled until the conclusion of the wedding ceremony. The veil emphasizes a focus on inner beauty, modesty and dignity. August 15, 2012
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The veiled bride and family members waiting before the wedding ceremony. August 15, 2012
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The groom is circled 7 times by the bride and other family members under the Chuppah, during the first part of the wedding ceremony. The number 7 references the 7 day cycle of creation from the Torah. August 15, 2012
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Guests, including many prominent Alaskan politicians and business leaders, at the first Chassidic Jewish wedding held in Alaska. In accordance with Jewish tradition, men and women remain separate during the ceremony. August 15, 2012
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The groom places a simple gold ring on the bride's finger during the wedding ceremony. The simplicity of the unengraved ring symbolizes that the marriage should be one of simple beauty. August 15, 2012
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Guests at the first Chassidic Jewish wedding held in Alaska. August 15, 2012
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Anchorage Rabbi Yosef Greenberg, father of the bride, celebrates after the completion of the wedding ceremony. August 15, 2012
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The bride and groom are congratulated after the wedding ceremony. August 15, 2012
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The bride is congratulated by her guests as she enters the Seudas Mitzvah, or wedding feast. The feast begins with enthusiastic dancing. August 15, 2012
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The bride celebrates with the other female guests during the Seudas Mitzvah, or wedding feast. A hallmark of the feast is celebratory dancing. August 15, 2012
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The groom is congratulated by his male guests during the Seudas Mitzvah, or wedding feast. A hallmark of the feast is celebratory dancing. August 15, 2012
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A guest balances a ladder in his mouth during the Seudas Mitzvah, or wedding feast. August 15, 2012
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The groom dances with his male guests during the Seudas Mitzvah, or wedding feast. August 15, 2012
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A female guest peeks through the "mechitza," or partition, separating the men and women during the wedding feast. The partition reflects the Jewish value of modesty. August 15, 2012
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Male guests dance for the groom during the wedding feast. August 15, 2012
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A guest prays for newlyweds Levi and Mushky Glitsenstein, after their wedding ceremony. The wedding was the first Chassidic Jewish wedding ever held in Alaska. August 15, 2012
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Loren Holmes

It would be easy to imagine Levi and Mushky Glitsenstein's wedding taking place somewhere far away, somewhere more exotic, had it not been for the prevailing backdrop of yonder snow-speckled mountains -- and the occasional appearance of a prominent Alaska politician.

The Glitsenstein wedding, held Wednesday at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in downtown Anchorage, was a unique affair nonetheless. Men with long beards, big black fedoras and kippahs (head coverings) darted about everywhere, speaking in Hebrew -- a language that's at once foreign and familiar in Alaska -- at what surely must have been the first-ever Last Frontier Chassidic Jewish wedding.

Chassidism (or Hasidism) is a branch of Orthodox Judaism known for celebrating the more mystical beliefs and traditions of the ancient religion. And the Glitsenstein affair drew guests from all over the world. While the ceremony was mostly conducted in Hebrew, little was lost in translation thanks to an interpreter who revealed the Chassidism for outsiders and non-Jews.

Mushky, an Anchorage local and daughter of Rabbi Yosef and Esty Greenberg, wore a simple but elegant white dress and was veiled for much of the ceremony. Levi, son of Rabbi Israel and Faiga Glitsenstein, wore the traditional black hat, coat and shoes.

After the ceremony, held outdoors under a Chuppah, bride and groom adjourned for a few private moments before returning to the reception hall for a rousing celebration with their guests. In accordance with Jewish tradition, men and women were partitioned apart, separated from each other, as each side danced feverishly around the bride and groom.

Contact Loren Holmes at loren(at)alaskadispatch.com