According to Jewish tradition, it is a mitzvah (commandment) to make the bridegroom happy on their wedding day. And although this deed often manifests itself in singing, dancing, and performing for the couple at the wedding itself, one Evangelical power couple took it to a whole new level.
Israel365 dedicated a Women’s Wellness Center in Jerusalem in the honor of Pastor David Swaggerty, senior Pastor at CharismaLife Ministries, and his wife Miriam. The two are longtime friends of Israel365 founder Rabbi Tuly Weisz and even hail from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.
The center, which is a project of the Israel365 organization, was established to provide Israeli brides with all of their needs for their wedding day. It specializes in loaning out beautiful wedding gowns to Israeli women who otherwise could not afford them – demand in a country whose economy was devastated from covid lockdowns.
But aside from the commandment to make the bridegroom happy, there is also a prophecy from the Book of Jeremiah which speaks about Jerusalem being silenced by the joyous cheer of the bride:
And I will silence in the towns of Yehuda and the streets of Yerushalayim the sound of mirth and gladness, the voice of bridegroom and bride. (Jeremiah 7:34)
That very prophecy appears to be fulfilled by this unprecedented initiative which enables Jewish bridegrooms in the holy city of Jerusalem to reverberate those very joyous cheers. This is manifested in the excitement exhumed by Israeli brides who receive their dresses at the wellness center. The fact that it was dedicated by Christians is a clear sign that the nations are not only repenting for their sins against the Jewish people but also mending their relations with the nation of Israel. That too was prophesied in the Book of Zechariah:
In those days, ten men from nations of every tongue will take hold—they will take hold of every Yehudi by a corner of his cloak and say, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that Hashem is with you.”(Zechariah 8:23)
Another reason this is an important service is that wedding dresses in Israel are quite expensive leaving many less-fortunate brides in a bind. The economic downturn from the covid lockdowns has made matters even worse for young couples who struggle to make ends meet, let alone pay thousands of shekels for a wedding gown.
During the center’s inauguration ceremony, Miriam choked back tears recalling the time when she went with her own daughters to purchase their wedding dresses describing the experience as “earth-shaking” and”special, beautiful time for us.”
Pastor Swaggerty also recalled several weddings that he officiated including those of his own daughters.
“We could not have imagined anything like this…what an honor,” he said of the new wellness center.
The pastor then recalled an iconic tradition from western weddings of ‘kissing the bride.’ It was at that point, he gave Miriam a big wet kiss to everyone’s amusement.
According to their website, Pastor Swaggerty’s CharismaLife Ministries aims to (among other things): “endeavor to preach good news to the poor, heal the brokenhearted.” The new wellness center for poor brides in Jerusalem seems to be accomplishing precisely that.