By Dr Rivka Lambert Adler
Initially, it was their common commitment to sharing Israel and Torah with people from the Nations that originally inspired friends to introduce AnaRina Heymann of Align with Zion and Tamir Kreisman of The Tent of Abraham. Their overlapping professional interests grew personal, and the couple married in Jerusalem this past Thursday.
“He really gets me,” Heymann expressed. “All our initial conversations have been about Torah and where we are at and what’s happening in the world.”
LEFT: AnaRina and Tamir (photo credit Yosef Adest)
The entire wedding and all of its symbolism was planned as, “a tremendously deep and intensive prayer for God to move us forward to the Kingdom and His ultimate reign. Moshiach ben David (Messiah son of David) is only a stage towards bringing God’s full presence into the world,” she elaborated.
The wedding was held at the Haas Promenade, also known as the Tayelet. “The location overlooks the whole of ancient Biblical Jerusalem, Har haBayit (the Temple Mount), Ir David (City of David) and the Valley of Hinnom. It is also the place where Abraham stood when God showed him the place of sacrifice, Mount Moriah.
On the third day Avraham looked up and saw the place from afar. Genesis 22:4
“Everything was in our vision during the chuppah (wedding ceremony),” Heymann shared. “The Tayelet is one of my favorite places in Jerusalem. I’ve been going there every Shabbat for five years. During our first date, we stopped there and this is where he proposed.”
“Clothing plays a tremendous part in Tanach (Hebrew Scripture). The Kohen Gadol (High Priest) had to dress a certain way because that’s what God commands,” Heymann explained, citing an example from Zechariah, where changing the clothing of the High Priest restored and elevated his spiritual stature, granting him the ability to communicate directly with God.
The latter spoke up and said to his attendants, “Take the filthy garments off him!” And he said to him, “See, I have removed your guilt from you, and you shall be clothed in [priestly] robes.” Zechariah 3:4
“Also, Isaiah 52:1-2 speaks of Jerusalem/Zion shaking off her dust and putting on beautiful garments. The symbolism of the dress represents both these dynamics,” Heymann elaborated.
Awake, awake, O Tzion! Clothe yourself in splendor; Put on your robes of majesty, Yerushalayim, holy city! For the uncircumcised and the unclean Shall never enter you again. - Isaiah 52:1
Queen Victoria, who married in a Christian ceremony in 1840, is credited with establishing the custom of the white bridal gown. Prior to that, Jewish brides were married in colorful dresses that represented the family from which they came. Heymann explained that, “The Jewish bride was always dressed in royal clothing. After the wedding, the dress was often used to make a cover for the sefer Torah (Torah scroll).”
Heymann envisioned a dress that, “from the beginning was to honor the beauty of Jerusalem.” Her custom-made dress had an underlayer of techelet, the royal blue color mentioned 49 times in Hebrew Scriptures.
They shall lay a covering of dolphin skin over it and spread a cloth of pure blue on top; and they shall put its poles in place. Numbers 4:6
The Israel Bible explains the connection between the color techelet and the Land of Israel.
“The biblical blue color techelet (תכלת) is mentioned numerous times in the Bible. Rashi explains that this color, worn on the fringes known as tzitzit (ציצית) placed on the corners of four-cornered garments, is meant to remind us of the sky, and, by extension, of Hashem and His constant presence in our lives. For close to fifteen hundred years, the source of this special blue dye had been lost to the world. In an exciting discovery in recent years, marine biologists together with Talmudic researchers have identified the source of techelet as a small snail found off the coast of northern Israel, near Haifa. Today, for the first time in centuries, people are once again wearing techelet on their tzitzit. From even the smallest sea creature, we continue to see the wonders of the Bible come to life in Eretz Yisrael.”
Heymann’s dress had an embroidered upper layer of champaign gold, which she said “represents the color of Jerusalem stone.”
The dress itself is a prayer. A tremendously deep and intensive prayer for God to move us forward to the Kingdom and His ultimate reign. We wait for Moshiach ben David (Messiah son of David) only as a step toward God’s ultimate Kingdom to be established,” she emphasized.
The golden layer of Heymann’s dress was embroidered with the Star of David, a symbol of the lineage of King David, the ancestor of Moshiach ben David. It was also embroidered with the Hebrew words chadesh yamenu k’kedem (Renew our days as of old) which come from the Book of Lamentations.
Take us back, Hashem, to Yourself, And let us come back; Renew our days as of old! Lamentations 5:21
The Israel Bible explains, “The verse emphasizes that Hashem will one day return the Jewish people to the Land of Israel, and renew the intimate relationship with Him centered around a rebuilt Temple in Yerushalayim.”
The wedding was held on a date that further echoed King David. It was the last day of the omer period known in Hebrew as Malchut sh’b’Malchut – kingship within kingship. “Tamir can trace his connection to King David through several lines in his lineage. The Heymann line is also strongly believed to have a connection to King David, though his connections are much stronger than mine,” she added.
In addition, that very evening began the holiday of Shavuot (Feast of Weeks) which is both the birthday and the anniversary of the death of King David. Shavuot, which celebrates the giving of the Torah on Mt Sinai is considered the marriage of God with Israel and in Jewish mystical teachings, it is referred to as The Night of the Bride.
Heymann understands her marriage as symbolically reuniting the Ten Tribes with Judah as prophesied in Ezekiel 37:15-28.
Answer them, “Thus said Hashem: I am going to take the stick of Yosef—which is in the hand of Efraim—and of the tribes of Yisrael associated with him, and I will place the stick of Yehuda upon it and make them into one stick; they shall be joined in My hand.” Ezekiel 37:19
“I represent the Ten Tribes. Although there has been assimilation in my Jewish lineage, I also carry a big chunk of the Ten Tribes with me.
“My Jewish lineage gave into the acute assimilation during the Emancipation in Europe. That’s where my family became Christian, and through a tremendous pull that can only be explained by Hashem’s very present Hand in my life, I myself returned to Judaism. Me getting married to [a man from] Yehudah (Judah) very much represents the unification of the House of Israel with the House of Yehudah. The full redemption is dependent on the unification between the two Houses.
“Because of my personal story, I also relate very much to the Book of Ruth that is read on Shavuot, as Ruth and Boaz’s story culminated on Shavuot,” Heymann added.
Heymann’s search for a tiara was driven by her desire to wear something representing Jerusalem of Gold. The corona virus prevented her from ordering something in advance, but Divine Providence directed her to a craftswoman in Jerusalem who had a golden silhouette of the Beit haMikdash (the Holy Temple) on hand.
LEFT: The tiara featuring the siloutte of the Holy Temple (photo credit Adina Schwab)
Heymann describes the significance of the symbol. “The whole theme of the wedding was chadesh yamenu k’kedem, referring to the significance of the rebuilding of the Temple and its service, but even stronger this time around as the renewal includes all the nations. People don’t understand the significance of the Beit haMikdash.
“Everything corresponds to a spiritual dynamic. As the Jewish people return and we rebuild the Temple, God is returning. God’s presence left in stages. First from the Holy of Holies. Then from the [Western Wall], then the Shechina (the feminine indwelling of God) completely left. He extracted Himself stage by stage.”
The mirror image of that process is happening as the Jewish people are returning to Israel. “The only thing that can unlock the fullness of God’s presence into our world,” Heymann explained, “is the Beit Hamikdash.
“We have no idea what we’re missing. The whole wedding was a tefillah (prayer) that there will be an awareness of what we’re missing and why it’s so important to rebuild the Beit Hamikdash,” she concluded.