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Meet Two Sisters Helping Jerusalem’s Poor and Needy BridesMeet Two Sisters Helping Jerusalem’s Poor and Needy Brides

Rabbi Weisz: Hi everybody, Rabbi Tuly Weisz and my beautiful wife Abby. We’re here in Jerusalem. So let me show you around. We are in a parking lot in Jerusalem. Right, regular parking lot, nothing special. In fact [it’s] a little bit, I don’t know what’s the word.

Abby: Dingy, maybe.

Rabbi Weisz: Dingy, you know, grungy. But, we’re gonna show you where we are. We’re at one of the secrets of Jerusalem. A very, very special place right. So you see this, this is a bomb shelter. Because, the missile threat and the threat of terror, we always have to be close to a bomb shelter. So let’s go folks. We’re gonna go down the stairs. I don’t know how I’m gonna do this backwards. Here we go. Abby show everybody the way. Say hello. Okay. We’re going downstairs into the bomb shelter. And this is the first glimpse that we are in a special bomb shelter. Because what do we have here? A wedding dress. Okay. This is my new friend Naomi

Naomi: Hi!

Rabbi Weisz: With another wedding dress, in the bomb shelter, in Jerusalem. And then all of a sudden look what we got. Abby, what do we have here. Do you want to show everyone around?

Abby: I want to let Naomi show everyone around. This looks amazing.

Naomi: So welcome. I’m Naomi. And where’s my sister?

Rabbi Weisz: She’s here too. Racheali don’t be shy.

Racheali: Alright. I’m Racheali.

Rabbi Weisz: Okay. These are the two wonderful sisters in Jerusalem who have done something amazing, amazing. Alright, let’s start the story.

Naomi: So for the past 15 years tell the story…

Rabbi Weisz: Tell the story in here let’s build up the drama.

Naomi: 15 ten years ago we started an organization to help all the needy brides in Israel. Not only in Jerusalem, they come from all over the place. And we have many, many beautiful dresses. For cheap, for free. And the bride comes here and she walks out with a beautiful dress.

Racheali: A dress, a veil, a crown

Naomi: Yeah, everything.

Rabbi Weisz: So let’s go to the seats because this is really really special. Okay, this is something that doesn’t exist, I don’t know, anywhere else in the world. Ready for this folks? Okay, we are in! It’s called a “Gmach” in Hebrew and it’s a wedding dress – what’s the word-?

Naomi: It’s a rental

Rabbi Weisz: Its rental, but it’s not really a rental. They call it a rental because they don’t want anybody to feel bad if they can’t afford it. But it’s really for the poor and needy of Jerusalem. You know because, well, there’s a lot of reasons why this is important.

All right let’s get everyone into the shot here. Okay.  I’m gonna give a little bit of a background. So we know that it says in the Bible that one day all of the Jewish people are gonna come back to Israel right, and it says in the 33rd chapter of Jeremiah that Jerusalem is gonna be built up again and it’s going to be so amazing and so lively and so full of life that there will be brides and grooms singing in the streets of Jerusalem. It says Od Yishama 

Naomi and Rachaeli: B’Arei Yehuda u’bchutzot Yerushalayim

Rabbi Weisz: Kol Sason vKol simcha

Naomi and Rachaeli: Kol Chatan v’Kol Kalla

Rabbi Wiesz: okay we all know that verse by heart because it’s one of these beautiful beautiful prophecies that it says that the sound of the bride and the sound of the bridegroom are gonna be heard once again in Jerusalem. But the Jeremiah didn’t think about how expensive weddings are nowadays.

Naomi: Exactly

Rabbi Weisz: And so what these two sisters did a memory of their mother in law who, she was telling me and Abby before, unfortunately, died of breast cancer. In South Africa, she was very involved with helping young couples and you know get started in life and so when she passed away they wanted to do something in her memory and they started this wonderful organization that the folks from Israel365 had had the honor to be able to help you.

Naomi: I want to thank everyone – a few people donated dresses a few people donated some money it was amazing

Rabbi Weisz: Yeah and it’s really our honor cuz we’re so proud of what you’re doing here and we want to help you even more. Because as beautiful as they made this, and again I was only here about a year ago, and it was just a dream and now it is a beautiful reality that has hundreds and hundreds of wedding dresses. and I asked them are they organized by size and they said no it’s just you know they know every dress that’s here and they come and they see the bride and then they say well we think this would look beautiful on you and they were telling me a really amazing story just tell us that story and then we’ll say goodbye what’s that story?

Naomi: So we always need to renew the dresses, because you can’t wear them more than like five or six times. So we had this nice old man. He came from America, and he donated his daughters dress. So he brought us this beautiful vintage dress. And as he came in…

Rabbi Weisz: can we see it? She’s gonna find it. Okay Naomi you tell the story. Oh, we found it. 

Naomi: So as he came in and brought the dress, we put it down in the couch. And a few minutes later, after he left, the next bride came in she was saying that she wants a certain type of dress. And then we said hey, look at this dress, we just got five minutes ago. And she fell in love. And she just took it! Like in ten minutes, someone brought it and someone took it.

Racheali: She fixed it up a bit.

Naomi: Yeah, she changed it a bit. 

Racheali: [She] added some sleeves.

Rabbi Weisz: Beautiful, Beautiful.

Naomi: It’s such a beautiful story. And we told the man. He was so happy.

Naomi: There’s also, you know, Jewish weddings, especially religious Jewish young couples, they need to have wedding dresses that are modest. And a lot of dresses nowadays are very, you know, whatever, low cuts and stuff like that, and not modest. So they, these sisters, first of all they help all kinds of brides. Whether they’re, you know, religious or not religious. But sometimes the dress is come in, and they know it’s not a really good fit for their customers.

Naomi: Right. 

Rabbi Weisz: Show us that dress that you that somebody else just you know made very beautiful[ly] recently. 

Racheali: We work with a seamstress also. An amazing seamstress. This was a dress that was opened here. See-through sleeves.

Rabbi Weisz: Look at that.

Racheali: The whole back was opened. 

Rabbi Weisz: And they fixed it up to make every belt…

Racheali: And they made it long, it was too short on her. She added to her all this lace to make it longer.

Rabbi Weisz: These are things you only get in Jerusalem. But you’re seeing prophecy come to life. You’re seeing the brides and the groom’s rejoicing. Because, you know, when you make a wedding, you shouldn’t have to think about how expensive it is And especially if you’re poor, there’s, you know, you need money to get started, to raise a family. 

Naomi: And sometimes they come here, and we help them we give them names of…

Racheali: Bands, halls, photographers

Naomi: Makeup artists

Racheali: Photographers, everything. We have names of good-priced stuff.

Naomi: They leave with a whole, yeah.

Rabbi Weisz: Full service. That’s really wonderful. Just helping young couples get started. Helping brides and grooms, you know, begin their life together.

Naomi: That’s what makes us happy.

Racheali: Yeah.

Rabbi Weisz: And you’re fulfilling prophecy. You know, it says this all over the place in the Bible. And you ladies are making it happen. So god bless you

Racheali: Amen, amen. Thank you for coming.

Rabbi Weisz: Thank you for everybody who participated in our campaign. Abb say goodbye. Shalom everybody!

Abby: Bye from Jerusalem!

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