“Who knows if it isn’t in the merit of Kupat Ha’ir that we are alive…”
Maran Hagaon Harav Shmuel Halevi Wosner and Maran Hagaon Harav Chaim Kanievsky, shlit”a, during their meeting to prepare a pruzbul on 28 Elul 5768
8 6 7 5 l 28 Elu of e m o H At the on a g a H Maran evi l a H l e mu h S v a r Ha it”a l h s , r e Wosn At Kupat Ha’ir, the phrase din vecheshbon takes on a physical significance. With the press of a key, the printer spews forth a page laden with data: how much came in and how much went out, how much by standing order, how much via credit card and how much via Rabbanim who receive contributions on behalf of Kupat Ha’ir. How much was distributed and for which purposes. A true din vecheshbon, down to the last detail. When the gabba’im of Kupat Ha’ir make their traditional visit to the homes of Maranan Verabanan Gedolei Hador, shlit”a, to exchange blessings as the representatives of Kupat Ha’ir, they take this document with them.
Before Rosh H was usher homes of the Ha’ir’s annual report, as well as a list of the names of contributors, at this historic event, which takes place only once every seven years.
The Joint Event of Two Gedolei Hador On 28 Elul, Harav Kanievsky, shlit”a, traveled to the home of Harav Wosner, shlit”a, to prepare a pruzbul, as is his custom at the end of an outgoing shemittah year. The gabba’im of Kupat Ha’ir received permission to present Kupat
Kupat Ha'ir- the topic of conver
h Hashana 5769 ered into the he Gedolei Hador, shlit”a Harav Wosner took the document and examined the chart. He reviewed the data, checking to see how much money was distributed in the form of
versation for the Gedolei Hador
monthly stipends and how much was paid in the form of large one-time grants. He checked how many millions of shekels were distributed in Tishrei and how many in Nissan. In the end, his eyes traveled to the bottom line, the one that showed black-onwhite, how much money Kupat Ha’ir distributed during 5768. Harav Wosner, shlit”a, gasped at the astronomical figure that appeared there and did a double take. His breath caught in his throat. Everyone present sensed the tremor running through him. “It is the merit of the tens of millions of shekels distributed this year by Kupat Ha’ir that protects us from our enemies,” said Harav Wosner, unwittingly adopting the same line of thinking as Harav Kanievsky, shlit”a. Two nevi’im prophesying in the same manner! After the pruzbul was completed, both Gedolei Hador, shlit”a, praised their joint establishment – Kupat Ha’ir – at great length. “Kupat Ha’ir does what is really our responsibility and we therefore
owe it a debt of gratitude,” said Harav Chaim vsky. Kanievsky.
(Because he merited for himself, he merited also for another).
“Tzion bamishpat tipadeh: The tzedakah of Kupat Ha’ir redeems us from our tzaros,” replied Harav Wosner.
In merit of the pruzbul, the contributors of Kupat Ha’ir merited to have the Gedolei Hador daven for them, together, on erev Yom Hadin.
All at once, both Gedolim withdrew their wallets and did what hundreds of thousands of Yidden were doing during that pre-Yamim Nora’im period: contributing to Kupat Ha’ir. For protection, and to pay a debt of gratitude.
It was extremely moving to witness this sincere tefillah, bursting forth from two such pure hearts at once. It was even more moving to think of the anonymous contributors, who knew nothing at all but had hurried to contribute before 9:00 on the morning of 28 Elul, when it became clear that Harav Kanievsky was planning to visit Harav Wosner and the lists were hurriedly spirited there.
Later, the Gedolim prayed together for all contributors to Kupat Ha’ir, stating each individual name on the list, that they merit a good and sweet year. In conclusion, Harav Wosner murmured, half to himself, “Migo dezochi lenafshei zochi nami lechavrei"
Fortunate are they for having merited such a zechus. Fortunate are they! But the biggest surprise was yet to come. After Harav Kanievsky reviewed the report once more, he shook his head from side to side and said, slowly and emphatically, “Who knows if it isn’t in the merit of this that we are alive?” !!! - !!! - !!! - !!! - !!! Who knows if it isn’t in the merit of this that we are alive? ---!!! Slowly, everyone present releases his baited breath. Astonishment reigns. What did Maran, shlit”a mean by the words “we are alive”? Did he mean that this was the zechus that kept us in Eretz Yisrael, as it is written Tzion nifdeis betzedakah? Was he referring to the fact that it is in this merit that we are alive in Olam Hazeh, that we have not been destroyed due to our sins?
Maran Hagaon Harav Wosner and Maran Hagaon Harav Kanievsky, shlit”a, contributing to Kupat Ha’ir.
Maran Hagaon Harav Wosner and Maran Hagaon Harav Kanievsky, shlit”a, praising the tzedakah of Kupat Ha’ir.
Maran Hagaon Harav Wosner and Maran Hagaon Harav Kanievsky, shlit”a, davening together for contributors to Kupat Ha’ir.
Maran Hagaon Harav Wosner and Maran Hagaon Harav Kanievsky, shlit”a, confirming Kupat Ha’ir’s annual report.
Impossible to Fabricate
The brochures you receive tell of debilitating poverty. The photographs show horrific distress. If the stark reality of the situation were not so terrible, it would be impossible to fabricate such stories. Impossible. People simply would not believe it. They would toss the brochure in the garbage, push away the slice of cake they’d intended to enjoy with a cup of coffee and say, “What did they have to go and ruin my appetite for?
Such situations don’t exist nowadays.”
But the reality exists, so people have no choice but to believe it. The power of truth is great. It cannot be denied or ignored. The thick pile of folders in the “Support” branch at Kupat Ha’ir’s offices is pushed aside. There are new applications to be dealt with, requests that have come in over the past few weeks. Each request has been filed away and verified. Questions were asked, situations confirmed. Now assistance must be provided. Working from the pages and pages of information and reports collected for each case, the gabba’im write a brief summary
Maran Hagaon Harav Michel Yehuda Lefkovitz, shlit”a, discussing with the Rabbanim of Kupat Ha’ir the details regarding the assistance to be provided to the needy families
of each to be presented to the rabbanim at their meeting. Dozens of such summaries are still waiting from previous appeals, but there is already a new pile. Every month a new pile is added to the old. The tragic stories on the papers presented to the rabbanim scream in silent agony. It is so difficult to conduct a meeting when that cry slices through the heart. It is impossible to hold the papers in hand, read what is printed there and not feel your heart cringe with pain. They seem like such ordinary papers, white with small black letters – very small letters, in fact, but still they take up so many pages. The rabbanim begin to read and grow more and more horrified with each passing moment.
Bitter Distress The first column contains the name of the needy family. The second provides the name of the Rav familiar with the case. The third - the name of the person submitting the request. Additional columns tell how many children are in the family (both married and unmarried) and how many times the rabbinical committee has approved assistance for the family in the past (if at all). Then comes the most horrifying column, the one that describes the situation. Each description is only a few words or sentences but the distress screams to the very heavens. •
*Widower, with 6 children (4 children at home, 2 married) and lost his job.
*Agunah, suffers from abusive husband, in debt from paying rent and legal fees. Tragic case.
The rabbanim lift their eyes. They cannot go on. How much suffering can a person bear to read about at once? Their eyes meet; everyone’s gaze is filled with shock. How can they go on? How can they not? They force their eyes back to the papers. •
*Divorcee, children taken from her because she can’t provide for them. Paying mortgage.
*Great talmid chacham. Has collapsed in the past. Has no kollel at the moment. Paying mortgage. Sometimes refrains from returning home due to pressure of mounting debt. Monthly support needed. (5 children.)
• *Wonderful avreich, no source of income, with sick child, paying mortgage, truly desperate situation (4 children).
Every Row A Tragic Story Every row in this report is a Jewish home. Every row tells the tragic story of a family’s life, a life where tears replace “Good morning,” and sighs take the place of smiles. Every such line is a hole in the heart, in the pocket and in the soul. Every line is a suppressed sigh and eyes fixed upon you in silence. You can change the situation; you can make a ray of light penetrate the darkness. Dozens of such pages are prepared for every meeting of the rabbanim. Dozens! It is impossible to leave families in such a desperate situation. Their tears must be wiped away. That is why Kupat Ha’ir was established. That is why Kupat Ha’ir conducts one fundraising appeal after another, doing everything in its power to bring another few shekels, and another, and another… because it is with these shekels that windows can be opened to let in light and sunshine. It is with these bills that bleak spirits can be raised, that nourishment – both physical and spiritual – can be provided, that precious Jewish children are given the chance to grow up emotionally healthy so they can go on to build beautiful, stable families of their own. It’s so easy to say all this – and so hard to actually accomplish it. Every month, Kupat Ha’ir struggles to raise the necessary funds. Every month there is a meeting o f the rabbanim; every
month families must be helped. The large fundraisers bring in a sizeable chunk of the necessary sums and our other projects, such as the segulah of davenning at Amukah, bring in some more. But there is still a gap… Every month, we face a new pile of folders filled with requests that simply cannot be turned down. Every month, we prepare new piles of papers, white on the outside and bleeding inside. Every month, when the rabbanim conclude their meeting and rise, their hearts filled with pain, the final line summarizing the amount that must be raised lodges itself in the hearts of the gabba’im, huge and threatening as a boulder. Where will they come up with that kind of money? How does one go about collecting such astronomical sums? When the month is over, after all the envelopes have reached their destinations, the gabba’im breathe a sigh of relief. Their relief is short-lived, however, because the next struggle is just around the bend. Next month, too, they will have to bring in money for the same families that have been approved for assistance, families that cannot manage on their own. And who knows what else will land on their heads next month? New cases come in far too often. New tzaros happen all the time: breadwinners are laid off; families become mired in poverty. Families who were somehow squeaking by – collapse. Temporary solutions stop working. Parents stop offering support; health funds stop approving payment – such situations are commonplace, leaving tragedy in their wake. Anyone who sees these reports will never complain that the fundraisers are held too close together, that the segulos are too expensive, that the brochures clutter up the streets needlessly. Whoever reads these reports cries bitterly. He begs Kupat Ha’ir to do something, anything at all, to give life to these poor people buckling under the strain.
h d these th t senses that th t the th h Whoever reads reports fundraisers are not conducted on behalf of the needy, but on behalf of he himself! Without them, he would not be able to go about his daily life. Otherwise, how could anyone with a beating heart enjoy an ice cream cone after his meal when there is a sickly woman whose husband has been running with her from doctor to doctor for years, trying one medication after another to no avail? When their children are enduring this difficult period amidst constant hunger? To save these families, Kupat Ha’ir must provide monthly support. When we talk about meetings of the rabbanim that conclude with the need to collect huge sums, people don’t understand where
‘Not yet?’” Which of us is in a position to judge whether a person’s situation is critical or not? A teenager slipping off the derech - is critical. A youth whose parents have finally managed to suppress their natural feelings of love and compassion and send him to a hostel for the sake of the rest of the family – is no less critical. The family did not consider taking such a step until their family had deteriorated terribly. The case of a young girl who has to provide for all her needs for marriage is critical as well, because her wedding date is fast approaching and every day without assistance scalds her soul. A cleaning lady for an emotionally disturbed woman is critical because the children are suffering terribly. Help is needed everywhere. A negative response is not an option. That is why Kupat Ha’ir was established. That is the goal it will go through fire and water to achieve. Every month anew, the nearly insurmountable difficulty rears its head again: how do we get through this month? How do we deal with the huge sums of money necessary? Kupat Ha’ir sends a minyan to daven at the Kosel and a minyan to daven at Amukah. We send delegations abroad to the kever of the Ba’al Shem Tov and to the kever of the Chassam Sofer’s mother and plead with the Gedolei Hador to daven for contributors. What for? Who needs the burden of responsibility each of these activities involves? The needy need them… the money goes. But when you divide that sum into five, for five months, and the sum of each month – by the number of families, the enigma disappears. A sea of money would not suffice. An ocean of money does not fill the need.
Finished Before it Begins “The money is gone before I even get to see it,” sighs the gabbai responsible for distributing money to needy families. “Can I tell brokenhearted families to wait until the next fundraiser? Can I tell people,
And you do, too, because you have hearts of flesh and blood – not hearts of stone. It’s impossible to meet our monthly quota without introducing new ideas all the time, without breaking our heads to figure out what the public needs and via which channels more and more contributions will come in.
Kupat Ha’ir accepted upon itself at its inception that no one would be turned down. Everyone who needs assistance – receives it. To meet that undertaking, Kupat Ha’ir turns the world upside-down, and thanks to you – manages to swing it.
rabbanim is personally familiar with the case. Old cases are investigated anew before each meeting. Each month, the situation is assessed to see whether there has been any improvement. Every effort is made to help families out of the circle of poverty. But some families remain stuck…
Divide By the Number of Meetings
Read and Weep
The final column on these pages show the amount of money each family has received so far. You look at the figures and feel yourself relaxing. Six thousand shekels, fifty-two thousand shekels, thirty-eight thousand, one hundred and twenty-four thousand, seventyseven thousand, ninety-six thousand, eight thousand… A family that received such large sums of money must be doing better, you think to yourself. We’re talking about a lot of cash! One hundred and twenty-four thousand shekels! But the adjacent column brings you back to reality. Number of times assistance has been requested: 13. The same family ha been approved for assistance by the rabbanim thirteen times! Each meeting of the rabbanim approves assistance for a period of five to six months. This family, then, has received assistance for approximately sixty-five months. They receive approximately NIS 2,000 a month. There are six children and the situation is desperate. Two thousand shekels is the minimum they need to buy bread and milk and chicken for Shabbos. Nothing more than that! The widower received NIS 96,000. He has five children and his request has been approved at ten meetings, which translates into 50 months of support. He, too, receives in the area of NIS 1900 per month, a sum that literally rescues his family from starvation. Every such case is presented at the meeting of the rabbanim only after countless investigations. In most cases, one of the
The M family’s joy at the birth of a new baby quickly turned to deep distress. The child was born with a serious problem in one of his internal bodily systems. Such a tiny baby with such serious problems! As soon as the initial shock wore off, the battle for his life began. In the meantime, the other children suffered. A year passed and then another. The parents are preoccupied with the baby, whose physical condition is far from satisfactory. The children have long ago forgotten what it means to do homework with Ima or study for a test in mishnayos with Abba. The parents are collapsing and the household is drowning. What will be? It doesn’t look as though the child’s medical condition will improve anytime soon. Hashem’s salvation comes in the blink of an eye and the family doesn’t stop praying for a miracle, but in the meantime, the children are on a downward spiral. The financial difficulties are the straw that’s breaking the camel’s back, the factor that’s pushing them off the derech. They’re looking for a happier life in different places, Rachmana litzlan. The assistance provided by Kupat Ha’ir has tremendous spiritual value in this case. Everyone hopes they will cease to be dependent on tzedakah but right now they are, as they have been for years. Can we drop them? Another family. Eight children at home, none married. The mother is collapsing under her burden and has no help. The father draws a salary but he uses every cent he earns to repay debts from a few years ago, debts accrued as the result of a tragedy in which the family lost lots of money. He doesn’t leave a single cent for his family to live on. His wife’s pleas fall on deaf ears. “I can’t live with these debts on my head; I can’t,” he cries. “The pressure is killing me. You’ve got to
understand me.” She understands him, m, but ut she sh she nd milk needs to pay for bread a and and tuition and new shoess to ha at tore. replace the ones that She pleads with him to divide e herr a his salary and leave month. bit of money each mo ve with She’s willing to live ies, but bare-bones necessities, ere’s no she’s got to live! There’ ry cent one to talk to. Every eforee it leaves the house before he father’s beis knesses knessses comes in. The rav of tthe i has spoken to him, and so has his father-inlaw, despite the unpleasantness involved. He’s immovable. Kupat Ha’ir provides the daily basics, the barest minimum to keep the family from starving. The mother refuses to accept a penny more than what is absolutely necessary for her family’s survival. But that she must take… Another family, this one with many children. The parents have long ago “lost it.” Poverty is present in every corner. There are no meals, no one to take an interest in the children’s lives, nothing. If good people give, there will be food. If not, there won’t be. The kids will go to neighbors. This is a case of shocking neglect rooted in incomparable misery. All the tzedakah organizations in the city give what they can and still there is not enough. Kupat Ha’ir is there so that these children will grow up emotionally stable. The huge sums of money listed in the final column tell the saddest story in the world, a story of heartbreak that repeats itself every day anew, every month anew.
We are commanded to give. We are privileged to give. Ever since we heard Hashem’s voice amidst the flames, we have been
di idual gives giving tzedakah. Each individual according to his understanding, his level of generosity, his personality. It doesn’t really matter how much you earn. What really makes a difference is on how lofty a level your soul is. One gives more and one gives less – the main thing is that our intentions be leshem Shamayim. For someone who doesn’t have, a little is a lot. It’s amazing to see people whom society considers needy – give and give. It’s equally amazing to see others give and give and give, without letup, never tiring of giving. The more they give, the more blessing Hashem puts in their money, so that they will be able to give more. They merit serving as Hashem’s shaliach to give others, and along the way, they are blessed in their own right. They are blessed with money and with spirit. With Hashem’s help, they will never reach situations like the ones described above, because their tzedakah protects them.
Every one of us can merit this.
The Gedolei Hador sh Kupat Ha'ir following Chanuka
ה ח נ ו כ ה ו ל ע ר ״
ח ט בת
אשרי אדם שנותן לת"ח הנצרכים יותר בחנוכה ויזכה בזה להון ועושר בביתו וצדקתו עומד לעד. )מספר מועד לכל חי מהגר"ח פלאג"י זצ"ל (
מרן הגר״ש הלוי וואזנר שליט״א
מרן הגרמ״י ליפקוביץ שליט״א
מאד ימים אלו הם מסוגלים אד וד וביחוד בנתינת הצדקה ללומדי תורה להחזיקם. )יסוד ושורש העבודה( בודה(
כ״ק מרן האדמו״ר מנאראל זצוק״ל
Kupat Ha’ir’s phone line at candlelighting time the many Yidden who h contributing to tzeda in accordance with the c of the Gedolei Ha כ״ק מרן האדמו״ר מביאלא שליט״א
כ״ק מרן האדמו״ר מטשרנוביל שליט״א
מרן הגראי״ל שטיינמן שליט״א
shlita contributing to ng the kindling of the ka lights
מויז׳ניץ שליט״א ץ מרן האדמו״ר כ״ק ן ק
שליט״א א האדמו״ר מבעלזא שליט כ״ק מרן האדמו ר כק
זה הדרך ישכון אור באופן סדר הצדקה של חנוכה: יפריש פרוטות פרוטות ויתחלקו לת"ח ...ויתן בכל שמונה ימים צדקה לעניים.
קה לימי הח הצ ד
אשרי אדם שומע ובער“ח טבת יפריש מעות לצדקה.
lines will be reinforced ime to accommodate ho have the custom of zedakah at that time he custom and takanah i Hador, shlit”a. מרן הגר״ח קנייבסקי שליט״א
כ״ק מרן האדמו״ר מלעלוב שליט״א
fOR THOSE WHOM WE SUPPORT
Maran A.L. Steinman praying for the Kupat Ha'ir donors by the Kosel Hamaravi
The Nadvorna Rebbe praying for the Kupat Ha'ir donors by the Kosel Hamaravi
Maran M.y. Lefkowitz praying for the Kupat Ha'ir donors in meyron
The Lelover Rebbe praying for the Kupat Ha'ir donors at Meoras Hamachpala
Maran Ch. Kanievsky praying for the Kupat Ha'ir donors by the tzion of the Chazon Ish
The Rachmistrivka Rebbe praying for the Kupat Ha'ir donors at Kever Rachel
will im m ha ac ch ei id lm ta t ea gr of n an A miinya c request mention your name and specifi
Every Day of Chanukah
sel Affter reciting Tehillim at the Ko
g n i n e v a d f o s y da days of yeshuos Names may be submitted via our telephone hotline only, 24 hours a day, until 12:00 am Sunday night, the first night of Chanukah.
1-866-221-9352 For contributions via credit card 24 hours a day
ONNSS BY CREDIT CARD FOR DONAATTIIO
To merit this special segulah: 1. Send the name to be prayed for along with the mother’s name and a specific request. Up to 3 names may be sent. 2. Names may be submitted via telephone, after making a credit card contribution, or enclosed in an envelope with a contribution and mailed to: Kupat Hair 4415 14th Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11219 3. Minimum contribution of $120. 4. If you would like to designate a specific 40 day period, please make a note of it.
Name Na mee aand ndd m mother’ ootther’ her’r s na he name name:________________________ mee:____ ____ ____ ___________ __ _ _____ ____ ____ __ ____ __ ___ ___ ___ Requ Re ques qu eesst: st: t _______________________________________ _____ _______ ____ ______ ____ ____ __ ____ ___ ____ ___ ____ ____ __ ______ _ ____ ____ __ ____ ____ __ ______ __ Request: Name and mother’s name:________________________ Request: ______________________________________ Name and mother’s name:________________________ Request: ______________________________________
.............. ............................................................................... .............. .............. .............. The sum of ............. .... months siss,, For......................................................... n ly baasi On a month ............ ............................................................................. n .... tioon One time donaati ............. .. ...................................................................... .............. .............. ................. Credit carrdd # .............. ........... . ...................................................................... Expiration date ............................ ................ ......... ...................................................................... .............. .............. ........... .............. .............. ................ Name ....... ................. ......... ...................................................................... .............. .............. ............ Address ..................... .................. ........ ...................................................................... .............. .............. .......... .............. .............. ................ Tel .............. ................... ............................................................................... .............. .............. ............. e .............. Signature:
WI FOR DONATIONS BY DIRECT BANK
........................................................................... Name ................................................. ........................................................................... Address: .......................................... ........................................................................ City, State & Zip............................ .......................................................................... Phone #:............................................. ... ny Months:......................................... Amount:...................... How ma ....................................................................... Bank Routing #: ............................ ....................................... #:......................................................................... Account ............................................................................ Sig S nature: ...................................
Donations can be sent to: D Kupat Hair 4415 14th Avenue 44 4 Brooklyn, NY 11219 Br B Shmuel Berenbaum Ztl 1795 East 7th Street Brooklyn, New York 11223 B
Home H Hom me oof Rabbi
Name of Contributor:_____________________________ Telephone Number for Confirmation:________________ By a minyan of outstanding talmidei chachamim. (minimum contribution of $120 per name)
By one outstanding talmid chacham. (Minimum contribution of $120 required. Up to 3 names may be submitted.)
Please print clearly.
Rabbi Shlomo Feivel Schustal Shlita
1043 E 17th St Brooklyn, NY 11230-4412 Rabbi Chaim Leib Epstein Shlita
1608 46th Street Brooklyn, New York 11204
Rabbi Malkiel Kotler Shlita R
Rabbi Dovid Goldwasser Shlita
521 5th Street Lakewood, New Jersey 08701 LLak
1336 East 21st Street Brooklyn, New York York 11210
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Rabbi Aron Schechter Shlita
1574 43rd Street Brooklyn, New York 11219 B
1248 East 12th street Brooklyn, New York 11230
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Rabbi Aryeh Z. Ginzberg Shlita
4 Yale Drive Monsey, NewYork 10952 M
568 Kensington place Cedarhurst, N.Y. 11516
y a r p l il w , a t" li sh r, o d a H i le o On Zos Chanukah, the Ged kah. u n a h C s o Z re fo e b in e m o c t for all the names tha
Please daven on my behalf for:
נחת מהילדים Nachas from children זרע של קיימא For children רפואה שלמה For a refuah sheleima (speedy recovery) זיווג הגון For a zivug hagun (worthy mate) פרנסה Parnassah (livelihood) with ease
Please fill in your Hebrew name and mother’s Hebrew name
Urgent requests are immediately forwarded to the home of the Gedolei Hador
How do I donate to Kupat Hair? 1envelope.
Send your donation do in the enclosed Tzeddakah Hotline Call the 24 Hour H (donation by cre credit ed card) at 1-866-221-9352 Fax:
Email: info@ firstname.lastname@example.org f @k
your donation to the Rabbonim in 3 Send your area (see list on Envelope).
Send your you donation to: Kupat Hair Ha ai Avenue 4415 14th A Brooklyn, NY 11219
Please make m checks payable to: American Friends F of Kupat Ha'ir
Montreal: Rabbi Y. C. Wenger Shlita, 2227 Goyer Avenue, Montreal Quebec H3S 1H1 In Send your donation to: Toronto: Rabbi M. M. Lowy Shlita, 240 Carmichael, Toronto Ontario M5M 2x4 Please make checks payable to: Canadian Friends of Kupat Ha'ir Canada
24 Hour Tzeddakah hotline For all information or to receive a pushka call 1-800-233-2188 Our office number in Israel: 3-671-6994
The Shirah of Yeshuos As the the he years yea ears pass and and Kupat Kupa Ku patt Ha'ir Ha'iir becomes Ha beco be come mess ev ever er mor m oree fir firml mly y en entr tren ench ched ed in in th thee As more firmly entrenched co onssci c oussness of th he Jewish community, stories of yeshuos merited as a result of consciousness the ib i abound. b d Many people l d ' go to the h trouble bl off writing i i us the h miracles i l contributing don't they have merited, thinking that "they've obviously had numerous stories just like ours." In most cases, they're right, too. But let someone mention the subject of Kupat Ha'ir in their presence and they launch right into the story of their personal yeshuah as if it happened that same day. Kupat Ha'ir's folders sing this very special shirah to Hashem and anyone who reads their contents cannot help but join in this marvelous melody. Can anyone remain the same after reading an account like that of the G family?
If You Want Us To Contribute â€“ We Will! "We had to cross a busy highway in a spot where there are no traffic lights and the cars speed by like bullets. Even standing on the curb was difficult because of the blast of the cars as they whizzed past without letup. "Our bus stop was somewhere on the other side. We had to cross two lanes with a narrow ledge between them. We waited a moment, two, threeâ€Ś in vain. There was not even a h we could second's break during which dash across." ents, After a few fruitless moments, the family decided there was no point in going on this way. Theyy thought to themselves: what are we doing
here, stuck in the middle of no place? Hakadosh Baruch Hu must have put us here for a reason. Nothing happens by chance. They lifted their eyes heavenward and said, "Ribono shel Olam, we know You brought us here and we know that only You can get us out of here. Here, then, we'll contribute to Kupat Ha'ir in order to give You nachas ruach!" They promised a certain sum of money to tzedakah. And then, just like in the stories, the last car (!) in the endless line whizzed past and g y was clear. They the highway crossed quickly and Ju as carefully. Just reac they reached t h e narrow ledge
s ratin separating separ ng the tw two lanes, the road behind them filled up again u ai . again. And then, in front of their astonished eyes, the second lane miraculously emptied out and they crossed safely. A moment later, the road was full again. They then waited an additional ten minutes for their ride, throughout which time there was not so much as a quarter-of-a-minute lull in traffic again! It's hard to describe this family's feeling of excitement. True, this was not a matter of life or death, nor was it an open miracle. But there is no sweeter feeling than knowing that Hakadosh Baruch Hu is with you the entire time, that you have merited to do his will and to see an open demonstration of His hashgachah pratis! That is the feeling with which people now walk around. That is the feeling with which they wake up in the morning and go to sleep at night. Yeshuos characterize the daily life of Jewish homes across the globe.
The Contribution: An Expression of Emunah The S family from Israel traveled up north for vacation. They took along enough cash – thousands of shekels - to pay for the cabin they would be renting as well as for the trips and attractions they had planned. Before setting out on a long trip in the north, the S family deliberated what to do with the money they had with them. Should they leave it in the cabin? Risky. What if it was stolen? Should they take it along? Not such a good idea either. It might get lost. Should they leave it in the car? Easy prey for thieves. Finally,
they decided that the best option was to keep it with them at all times. They wrapped it up well in a plastic bag so the bills wouldn't get wet from the river they planned to wade through and Mr. S stuck it deep in his pocket. At one point on the trip, as a good time was being had by all, Mr. S stuck his hand in his pocket – and thought he would faint. The money was gone. He immediately searched the area around him – in vain. Obviously, the money had fallen out some time here? The water ago; who knew where? in the river kept flowing all the time, reducingg to nil ing a the chance of finding here plastic bag somewhere ed. on the sandy bed. d Panicking, Mr. S told d his family what had happened.Everyone did his best to look around, but it was clear there was no chance of recoveringg the money. In their distress, the d a family promised oney to sizeable sum of money Kupat Ha'ir. If this iss Hashem's will, they thought to themselves, that a Jew in distress express his bitachon in Hashem by contributing to Kupat Ha'ir – we will do it! Of course, the family's joyous mood was gone. How would they pay for the cabin they were renting? How could they continue their vacation? How could they absorb such a substantial loss? There was only one hope: Kupat Ha'ir. If you contribute – you find what
you're looking for. A few members of the family clambered out of the river, their mood shot. The others insisted on continuing. So long as they were there already, they felt, they might as well finish the hike. At the last second before they left the river, they noticed a bag stuck on a twig sticking out of the water. It was the bag of money.
chidon. I wracked my brain for the answer but I couldn't recall. I felt tears welling up in my eyes. I felt so ashamed.
Along With Their Mother's Milk
Suddenly, I remembered all the yeshuos stories I had heard about Kupat Ha'ir. I knew I had some money put away in my own little bank. On the spot, I promised that if I remembered the answer, I'd contribute from my money to Kupat Ha'ir. I was still in middle of promising when all of a sudden, I knew the answer! I told it to my rebbi and it was correct! I would join the chidon! Later that night, when I went to the rav in my neighborhood who accepts contributions on behalf of Kupat Ha'ir, tears came to my eyes once again."
When the adults behave this way, the children imbibe this wonderful feeling of relying on Hashem alone along with their mother's milk. They, too, know that there is none other than Hashem; they, too, learn that the solution to any difficulty is Hashem's chessed. And they, too, know that the easiest and fastest way to merit that chessed – is Kupat Ha'ir.
Such a story is very touching, even to the adults among us. When children grow up this way, when they understand from a young age that it is only ratzon Hashem that has any power in this world, that nothing happens without His having willed it, that spiritual hishtadlus can achieve what nothing else can – such a generation is surely worthy of greeting Moshiach.
In the words of a ten-year-old child:
And when our children are like that, our youth is even more so.
That's how it is. If you contribute, you find what you're looking for.
"We had a chidon on all of Chumash Vayikra. It was a public affair, with guests and prizes. We all wanted to participate. We studied a lot and reviewed endlessly. But we knew that only those boys that did well on the oral test held shortly before the public event would actually participate. The tension during the test was skyhigh. At the last moment, after I had done well on the test, my rebbii asked me one dn'tt know last question. I didn' d there, the answer! I stood not knowing whatt to ess do. I knew that unless I answered thee question correctly, I wouldn't be able to participate in the public
Spiritual Hishtadlus for a Spiritual Yeshuah A bachur – let's call him Yossi - wanted a certain chavrusa. They had studied together in the past with excellent results. They had both been pleased. But before Yossi managed to make up chavrus for the new zeman, with his chavrusa someone else "snatched him up." The disappoin disappointmentwas terrible.The other bachurim in the shiur were more or less settled; onl he was still in the air. only Th There was one chavrisa h heart desired, and he his w taken. What should was h do know? he B Bederech hateva – there w no chance. was Bu But beyond derech hat hateva – there sure was.
He contributed to Kupat Ha'ir and asked Hashem to help him. "Hashem, I don't know how You can help, but it doesn't make a difference," he said. "You have Your ways. All I know is that my hishtadlus is contributing tzedakah to Kupat Ha'ir, so that's what I'm doing."
The days passed slowly. The woman continued to be persecuted by depressing thoughts throughout the day. It was hard, so hardâ€Ś
Does it come as a surprise that the following morning, the chavrusa that he wanted approached him of his own free will and asked him to renew their partnership?
In middle of the 40 day-day period, she found herself in a car traveling quickly down a highway. Suddenly, every driver's worst nightmare came true: a chain accident. Cars smashed into one another. There were screams of panic amid the sickening crunch of metal against metal.
"I don't know what happened," the bachur writes. "It doesn't really make a difference. All I know is that my hishtadlus was spiritual in nature and when I did it, the obstacles fell away. We're learning together now and baruch Hashem, it's going very well."
She was there, a part of the nightmare. And miraculously, she walked away unhurt. She did not suffer so much as a scratch. She went home with the dazed, confused feeling familiar to anyone who's been through a trauma like that.
Once again, tears spring to the reader's eyes. Our boys' ambitions are so holy, so pure! And even then, they know how to keep matters in proportion. Hisdhtadlus is just hishtadlus; it doesn't "do" anything. It's just a tool to acquire siyatta dishmaya.That being the case, spiritual hishtadlus is infinitely better than any other kind! Can you possibly compare the physical hishtadlus of approaching the bachur, speaking to him, sending emissaries and the like â€“ to performing a mitzvah beloved and precious to Hashem?
"I felt so strongly that Hashem was with me. He was with me there in the car. He protected me; He kept me alive," she writes. "The feelings of bitterness and humiliation from my dismissal dissipated. Who cared what those people at work thought of me when Hashem himself loved me and personally saved me from danger?"
Enveloped By Hashem's Love The more this approach becomes ingrained, the further inroads Kupat Ha'ir makes in various areas of people's hearts. If contributing to Kupat Ha'ir helps for materialistic matters, why shouldn't it do the same for spiritual ones?
No explanations are necessary.Thiswoman sensed that Hakadosh Baruch Hu had listened to her prayers and arranged for her to be involved in the accident where she would feel his supervision and love extra closely. Her perception of things changed completely after she witnessed such open mira cle s. Over and over
A woman was fired from her job in a humiliating fashion. She was filled with negative emotions such as bitterness, insult, shame and disappointment. Her self-esteem sank and her mind revolved constantly on her dismissal. She couldn't think of anything else! Time passed and still she felt trapped in a haze of negative emotions. She felt herself slipping into a depression. It was impossible to look for a new job this way. She simply didn't have the strength to burst her bubble of distress and difficulty. Didn't have the strength? There was Someone Who could come to her aid. She contributed to Kupat Ha'ir and asked to have her name davened for at the Kosel Hama'aravi for 40 days and 40 nights.
she thoughtt to herself: Who knows what would have happened to me there if I hadn't an contributed? How can I cry over a job when my very life was spared I the merit of tzedakah? oman. So, so She is so right, that woman. right. Painful thoughts can be as excruciating as physical pain. She made the proper hishtadlusand merited two miracles.
Even When It's Their Fault! Incredible as this may seem, when Yidden contribute to Kupat Ha'ir and lift their eyes heavenward to beseech Hashem's salvation, they merit inexplicable siyata dishmaya- even if the trouble in which they find themselves is their own fault! It's as if the Ribono shel Olam is saying, "My children, even when you behave foolishly; even if you acted without proper forethought and with a total lack of responsibility – still I am prepared to help you, so long as you remember Me at the right moment." Astoundingly, each of the writers of these stories (some of who requested that we not publicize their stories because they were too embarrassed) concluded his letter with a statement to the effect that he's learned his lesson the hard way and will make sure not to repeat his mistake. Apparently, people simply can't ask Hashem to help them out of a mess they've gotten themselves into and then go ahead and get stuck in the same place again. It isn't easy to publicize such stories. There may be people who will claim we're legitimizing improper behavior in some way - although the opposite is true. But the stories are there, and they are astounding. They cannot be ignored. Some people drove way past the speed limit,
end endangering themselves an others. It was only and w when they were caught th they remembered that th Ribono shel Olam, the co contributed – and were sp spared a ticket and a fine Others squeezed fine. m far more passengers than legally permitted into a ("…w were about fifteen car ("…we people in a car meant to seat four…"). At th the critical moment, when, to the incredu incredulity of a police officer who ordered everyone out of the car, they kept coming and coming and coming – they klapped al chet, contributed and were spared. Lightheaded bachurim hitched a ride and found themselves in a car with an Arab driver who took them through hostile Arab villages. They, too, whispered desperate tefillos to Shamayim and promised to contribute. Even high school students who frittered their time away during math class and suddenly realized they "knew nothing" the night before the test, promised a contribution for every math problem properly solved. There are letters from people who took the risk of building illegally and, in the face of bulldozers sent by the municipality to raze the illegal extensions to the ground, contributed and were spared tremendous loss. There are dozens of letters describing mistakes and worse. On the surface of things, these people did not deserve such astounding siyatta dishmaya. Still, when they turned to Hashem at the moment of their distress, He responded. Each writer describes the terrible regret he experienced and his determination never, ever again to repeat his mistake. Each of them requests: Please, if you do print my letter, warn people never to get themselves involved in such a situation! The power of teshuvah, too, is evident from these stories. "Dor ani veyasom," people say – and rightly so. "A generation of hashgachah pratis," others say – and they are right, too. It all depends on which side you stand: the side of those who have already
been convinced, who despite their initial reluctance tried contributing to Kupat Ha'ir "just once" and haven't been able to stop ever since – or the other side, among the few and far between who still refuse to try. It all depends where you stand. Every person has his "breaking point" the point at which he stops objecting and joins the side of the contributors:
The Locked Door The F family volunteered to go away for Shabbos in order to leave their apartment to a neighbor who was making a simchah and needed additional sleeping quarters to accommodate his guests. It wasn't really a big deal because Mr. F's sister, who was abroad with her family at the time, lived quite close by and she agreed to let the F's use her apartment. A few suitcases and handbags and the F family was off. It was five o'clock; the zeman was at 6:40. The key awaited him, Mr. F knew, at the home of a neighbor on his sister's floor. Everything had been discussed in advance. To the F family's distress, however, there was no response when they knocked at the neighbor's door! Other neighbors told them that the neighbors had traveled to a different city for Shabbos. Not a single other neighbor had a key to the sister's apartment. Mr. F tried reaching his sister abroad but there was no answer. He called an organization that is supposed to help in such cases but the only solution they could offer was to break down the door. It was a rented apartment, though, and he had no permission to do that – not from his sister and certainly not from the landlord. Besides, he didn't want to cause damage. The minutes flew by. The F's own apartment was already occupied by others. They had no place else to stay! Mr. F searched for an alternate way to enter the apartment but nothing panned out. Everything was locked. He tried calling his sister again and this time she finally picked up. "I don't know what to say," she replied, feeling terrible. "I can't think of any way to help you from here. No one else has a key and we made sure to lock all the windows before we left." Mr. F was desperate. "I had never contributed for yeshuos before," he writes.
"I didn't believe in it; in my heart I scorned the fools who did. But then, with Shabbos fast approaching and my children's cries in my ears – I promised to contribute." As if in response to his promise, his sister called back. She had suddenly thought of something. The upstairs neighbor's porch was directly above her own. Maybe he could lower himself from their porch to hers, open the door from inside, and enter. Mr. F glanced at the porch and broke out in a cold sweat. "I'm not the acrobatic type," he writes. "Not at all. I've never been good at that sort of thing. I knew I couldn't do what my sister was suggesting." He didn't feel comfortable asking any of the neighbors for such a favor, either. He barely knew them, after all. Desperate, he went back downstairs to look at the porch once more. Suddenly, who should pass by but his younger brother, who studies in a yeshivah in Yerushalayim. "What are you doing here?" the older brother asked in surprise. "The truth is, I don't know. This is the first time I'm ed the you unger er in this neighborhood," replied younger brother. "Let's go; start climbing!" Mr. F ordered. "My contribution to Kupat Ha'ir dragged you to n this neighborhood to open the door for us. Quick, it's almost Shabbos!" The flexible bachur went upstairs to the neighbor's apartment and easily shimmied down to the porch below. A momentt or later, he opened the door triumphantly. re so "I contributed some more the apartment would be protected r. F's letter throughout Shabbos," Mr. concludes. "We couldn't lock the door behind us when we went out for the seudos, after all." That's it. He's on the other side. Now he, too, is with us – the givers.
מ ר ן פ ו ס ק ה ד ו ר ב ע ל " ש ב ט ה ל ו י " ה ג א ו ן ה ר א ב י דיר ש מואל
ה ל ו י ו ו א ז נ ע ר ב ש א ל י ש ט ט " י י א ע ר ט פ א ר ״ ק ו פ ת ה ע י ר ״ נאך ח נ ו כ ה ל י כ ט צ י נ דן
בזכות העושים והמעשים לשם שמים נתברך מפעל חסד ורחום ״קופת העיר" בסיעתא דשמיא לכן באתי לחזק מעשה הטוב רבת הזכות הנוטל חלק במצוה הזאת יענהו ה׳ מן וכל הנ השמים באורך ימים ושנות חיים וכט״ס ואין ישראל נגאלים אלא בזכות הצדקה כאז"ל
ד י פ י י ע ר ד י ג ע ב ר י רבי שמואל הלוי וווו פון מרן הגאון אזנער שליט״א
לרחמיי ה׳ מצפהה לרחמ מצפ