In many parts of the world, being openly gay is still a challenge:
Westboro Baptist will disrupt a funeral over it.
Saudi Arabia and Iran will execute you for it—so will Mauritania, Sudan and Yemen.
But last Friday night on the beach at Tel Aviv, Israel, visitors and others celebrating gay pride week were specifically invited to participate in the largest Friday night (Sabbath celebration) dinner in the world. Organized by a coalition of private and public sector players, the event was meant to promote the city, traditional Sabbath celebration, engender fellowship between religious, secular, young, old, gay and straight people—and have fun doing it. The event was an effort to enter the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest Shabbat (Sabbath) dinner ever.
A Guinness representative was on hand to make sure the dinner and its timetable conformed to stringent requirements. Those were met, as were the requirements of Orthodox Jewish law.
Tel Aviv’s Chief Rabbi spoke to the more than 2,000 people assembled. The mayor was there, along with other notables. But mostly it was first come, first served—and a long waiting list of disappointed people who could not fit in to the Tel Aviv Port’s Hanger 11, where the meal was served.