Time t s r i F e h t For At Dawn
The Minyan of Kupat Ha׳ir Messengers at the Kosel
Is Continuing Its Tefillos With Guidance from Maran Hagaon Harav Chaim Kanievsky, shlit”a
s y a s t d h 0 g i 4 n r t Fo and 40 u lo
l a C l m l e a h h s S a H e W to
“…Utefilah Utzedakah ma’avirin es roah hagezeirah”
With True S "
Rav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld, zt”l, Rav of Yerushalayim, once commented that people sometimes wonder why their tefillos at the Kosel are no longer answered the way it used to be. He explained: “It used to be that every time a Yid had a problem, he gathered a minyan of talmidei chachamim and paid them to go down to the Kosel and daven for him. The mitzvah of supporting talmidei chachamim, along with their earnest prayers combined to form a powerful merit on behalf of all. But nowadays,” Rav Yosef Chaim concluded (referring to his times, of course), “the poor people who come to daven are not talmidei chachamim and when someone needs a minyan, he can put one together by paying a penny to each member and he thinks that’s enough…. az er macht shoin gliklach dem kavyachol.
This story teaches a number of lessons…
One: Giving tzedakah is an old and worthy custom. Neither Kupat Ha’ir nor any other tzedakah organization “invented” it, as some people like to say over and over again. It is a custom that dates back to the early generations, and people saw yeshuos! The current usage of this idea is strikingly similar to the original idea: talmidei chachamim go down to the Kosel to pray on behalf of contributors and the Gates of Heaven open wide to receive them.
Two: The second lesson to be learned from this story is the necessity of the condition that the people who pray be talmidei chachamim and not just ordinary Yidden. Rav Yosef Chaim, zt”l, hinged the acceptance or rejection of tefillos at the Kosel on the fulfillment of that condition! The tefillah of talmidei chachamim is different; its power is great enough to storm the Gates of Mercy.
Sincerity “Put all your efforts into this matter,” were the unequivocal instructions of the rabbanim of Kupat Ha’ir. Kupat Ha’ir began searching extensively and came up with ten talmidei chachamim worthy of doing the job in the best possible way. The top priorities on the long list of characteristics we looked for were yiras Shamayim, great care with mitzvos, trustworthiness, absolute integrity, and deep love and concern for one’s fellow Jew. The messengers who daven at the Kosel for Kupat Ha’ir’s contributors are outstanding talmidei chachamim, truly special people who have made Torah study their craft. Kupat Ha’ir goes to great lengths to ensure that these messengers be the type of people whose prayer is desirable to Hashem. One is a mashgiach in a yeshivah gedolah, a few deliver shiurim in yeshivos… they were all selected with great care. And they must continue to live up to our expectations of them. The Gedolei Hador, who guide Kupat Ha’ir’s every step, have explicitly mentioned this matter as well: The shlichei tzibbur who pray on behalf of contributors must be worthy people. True, human beings can see only with eyes of flesh and blood, but even eyes of flesh and blood can see very much indeed.
Three: The third lesson deals with the connection between the merit of tzedakah and that of tefillah, and the understanding that a combination of the two tips the scales. Kupat
Ha’ir has been making use of this powerful combination since its inception – with good reason. Here we see that Rav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld Zt”l supported this approach. The tefillah of ten Torah scholars combined with the merit of supporting the poor is so powerful that the Satan simply cannot defeat it. It used to be that every time a Yid had a problem, he gathered a minyan of talmidei chachamim and paid them to go down to the Kosel and daven for him. The mitzvah of supporting talmidei chachamim, along with their earnest prayers combined to form a powerful merit on behalf of the sick person.
Nowadays Yidden contribute to Kupat Ha’ir, which gathers a minyan of talmidei chachamim and arranges for them to go down to the Kosel and pray on their behalf. The tzedakah that a Yid contributes to Kupat Ha’ir, thereby supporting tens of thousands of people, including thousands (!!!) of outstanding talmidei chachamim, combined with the prayer of the minyan of talmidei chachamim at the Kosel form a powerful merit on behalf of all those who need a yeshuah. And the yeshuos can be seen even with eyes of flesh and blood. Just ask those who have already tried.
This year, a true revolution with regard to tefillas rabbim!
Kupat Ha’ir always th hink hi nks ks thinks one step ep ahe a head ad. . Ever Ev er r y year ye ar, a ahead. Every year, Many families have experienced the taste of having a minyan daven min mi nyan o talm lmiddei cchachamim hachamim ha minyan off ta talmidei for a critically ill person. Other families, mainly Jerusalem-based ones, davens for our contributors went so far as to organize a minyan to daven at the Kosel. But a minyan during these forty holy days at the crack of dawn during selichos time, when the Gates of Heaven known to be an eis ratzon. The are open wide – such a minyan is no easy feat to put together. power of the “40-day segulah” is well known; the Kosel is the Such a minyan for forty consecutive days defies the imagination. holiest place on earth – directly But it is possible! In fact, with Hashem’s help, it’s going to happen opposite Sha’ar Hashamayim; this year, during the forty days between Rosh Chodesh Elul and Yom and those davening are Kippur. Forty consecutive days of tefillah at the lofty hour of the Torah scholars well-versed in ashmores hashelishis. prayer. It seems the ultimate combination. But Kupat Never before has such a thing been done; this year, Ha’ir attributes tremendous with Hashem’s help, it will be done! importance to tefillah. Was there anything else that could be done that had not yet been done?
Forty Days of Selichah
The forty holy days between Rosh Chodesh Elul and Yom Kippur, the very days during which Moshe Rabbeinu prostrated himself in tearful prayer before Hashem, are fast approaching. Our hearts are filled with fear of the Yom Hadin; with prayer for a better year; with an inner purity and a longing for Salachti kidvarecha – the same type of complete, healing forgiveness that Klal Yisrael merited during these days so many years ago. We want the type of forgiveness Moshe Rabbeinu longed for, the kind that assured us, Am Yisrael, that we were still beloved children of Hashem. We want the same type of complete selichah that will redeem us from our sins during the past year and open for us a window to goodness and blessing during the coming one and those thereafter. And if we merit it, may it be the type of selichah that will bring the geulah in its wake.
Can We Ascend Higher? These forty days are a period of eis ratzon. But there is one hour during each of these forty days that is even loftier, more exalted, more auspicious for prayer than the rest of the day: the hour before dawn, the ashmores hashelishis. Kumi roni baleil, b’rosh ashmores. This hour – after chatzos but before daybreak – is the most select hour throughout the day. It is the hour during which Selichos are recited, the hour during which the gates of Heaven are open wide and the middah of Rachamim reigns. And if there exists such an hour, rest assured that Kupat Ha’ir will do everything in its power to arrange for the special tefillos to take place precisely then.
A Re v o in Te lution fillah Wit Hashem’s help, that is the plan. A minyan of talmidei chachamim will pray on behalf of contributors to Kupat Ha’ir, mentioning each and every name specifically and individually, during ashmores haboker, when the attribute of Mercy increases. This is not “instead of” the regular minyan. The regular minyan meets at noon while the “ashmores minyan” meets at night. This way, we ensure forty consecutive days and nights. Two minyanim in a twenty-four-hour period – day and night – make for incomparable consecutiveness . Forty days and forty nights of prayer and pleading during the most auspicious times for tefillah!
Berosh Ashmores Astounding things are written in praise of this eis ratzon, the ashmores haboker. They can be found black on white in many Jewish sources and they are extremely powerful. This quote is from Binah Le’itim: “Ashmores haboker, shehi muchenes yoser mikulan lehamshich chut shel chessed ka’asher hu mefursam, uveosah sha’ah hatefilah vehatze’akah hi retzuyah me’od lifanav Yisbarach.” Loosely translated, this means that
ashmores haboker is a more auspicious time for prayer than any other time of day or night and that prayers recited during this time are very desirable in Hashem’s eyes. The Ba’al HaTurim writes: “Be’ashmores haboker – shehi eis ratzon,sheHakadosh baruch Hu oseh bah nes. ”At dawn – this is an auspicious time, when Hakadosh Baruch Hu performs a miracle.” ” The Yalkut Shimoni writes: “Be’ashmores haboker – atah motzei shetefilasan shel tzaddikim nishma’as baboker.” “At dawn – From here we see that the prayer of righteous men is heard in the morning. The Psikta Zutresa adds another word: Le’olam tefilasan shel tzadikim nishma’as baboker. The prayer of righteous men is always heard in the morning “The Sha’ar Hakavanos describes this time not only as an eis ratzon more than any other, but as a time with characteristics unique to it alone. Hamtakas hadin, for example, which does not exist during any other time! Ve’afilu hadinim einam nimtakim ela be’ashmores haboker shehi eis ratzon veharachamim govrim. This partial Yalkut teaches us about the power of ashmores haboker. The Gates of Shamayim open wide, Hakadosh Baruch Hu hears the tefillos of tzaddikim
and even prepares hamtakas hadinim especially for this time! How can we sleep? Can we sleep during this auspicious hour during these holy days? No. Not at Kupat Ha’ir, in any case. Kupat Ha’ir will see to it that the special “40-day minyan” will meet specifically at this hour. The precious lists of contributors to Kupat Ha’ir will be read aloud before Hashem specifically during the ashmore hashelishis. This year, this auspicious time will include prayers on behalf of contributors to Kupat Ha’ir, the prayers of a minyan of talmidei chachamim who pour their hearts out in prayer before Hashem on behalf of each and every contributor. During the fast-approaching forty-day period, there will be two revolutionary innovations with regard to the prayers organized by Kupat Ha’ir on behalf of its contributors: One: the special minyan will gather at the ashmore hashelishis, the time between chatzos and sunrise. It is at this time, the most auspicious time for tefillah, that they will daven for contributors to Kupat Ha’ir. Two: The regular 40-day minyan will not stop. On the contrary, it will now be a part of an even holier, loftier, more special arrangement: forty consecutive days and nights of prayer. Forty days during which their prayers ascend higher and higher, reaching the Kisei Hakavod itself. Forty days and forty nights! During the daytime, the minyan will meet at 2:00 minchah time, also an eis ratzon. The minyan meets openly at the same time every day so that whoever is
A Re v o in Te lution fillah interested may join. Yafeh tefilas hacholeh al atzmo. Some people actually join the prayers at the Kosel; others join in from wherever they may be. And the second minyan… the second minyan arrives at the Kosel after chatzos, and at the third ashmore, as the Gates of Heaven open, they will carry the names of the contributors in their hearts and pray that Hashem grants their requests.
One Unit Day – and night. Forty days and forty nights. One minyan by day and another at night, be’ashmores haboker. Incomparable consecutiveness. The forty days between Rosh Chodesh Elul and Yom Kippur become a consecutive chain of holiness and sanctity, one large unit of prayer and supplication to Hashem. With Hashem’s help, such prayers will not go unanswered!
For forty days and forty nights, we will fall before Hashem in prayer. Forty days and forty nights, both during ashmores haboker and during the day, without letup, our prayers will knock at Heaven’s door. Your names will ascend On High and reach Hashem at a time when the attribute of mercy reigns supreme.
Maran Hagaon Harav Chaim Kanievsky, shlit”a,
Offers Guidance With Regard to the Tefillos at the Kosel related to Kupat Ha'ir is the result of a mutual interest. Kupat Ha'ir wants more than anything else to place the burden of responsibility on the broad shoulders of those truly worthy of carrying it while the Gedolei Hador, for their part, want to see and know that everything, down to the tiniest detail, is being carried out according to pure da'as Torah. Not just the tzedakah but the publicity, the content, the segulos – everything! Kupat Ha'ir, therefore, never tires of asking and the Gedolei Hador never tire of providing answers. Their tremendous appreciation to contributors opens all doors…
As in regard to all matters, the Gedolei Hador, shlit"a, are the ones who guide Kupat Ha'ir in how to conduct the tefillos at the Kosel Hama'aravi. From time to time, new questions come up. The Gedolei Hador answer them one at a time. Whenever Kupat Ha'ir conducts a prayer session or a new segulah, the matter is first discussed and cleared with the Gedolei Hador. Because Kupat Ha'ir feels that only with the backing of the Gedolei Hador can such a matter be presented to the public. It is only in this way that the tefillah or segulah is perfect. It is only in this way that we can know for certain that everything is being done in the best way possible to find favor in the eyes of Hashem. The Gedolei Hador's deep involvement in all matters
The Gedolei Hador were asked, for example, how to conduct the “40 Days at the Kosel" project on Tish'ah B'Av. The minyan usually recites Tehillim before praying but on Tish'ah B'Av, most opinions concur, Tehillimshould not be recited. The Gedolei Hador also dealt with the question of when exactly is the she'as rachamim known as ashmores haboker and at which hour the Kupat Ha'ir minyan should pray on behalf of contributors. Their clear ruling was that the new minyan should daven during the ashmorah hashelishis, after chatzos and before alos hashachar. Contributors to the “40 Days and 40 Nights" prayer program can therefore join our minyan, either at home or at the Kosel. The minyan meets every day at precisely 2:00 PM and every evening at 3:50 AM before dawn.
May Hashem hear and accept our prayers.
Kvittel for Kupat Ha’ir’s Tefillos at the Kosel Dear Kupat Ha’ir: I hereby contribute______________ To Kupat Ha’ir and I request that I be prayed for at the Kosel For forty days from Rosh Chodesh Elul through Yom Kippur Name and Mother’s Name:
Name and Mother’s Name:
With a contribution of $ 120
By a minyan of great Torah scholars Messengers of Kupat Ha’ir for forty days
(Up to 3 names may be submitted)
With a contribution of $ 120 (Per name)
By a great Torah scholar messenger of Kupat Ha’ir for forty days
Names may be submitted until 10:00 AM on Thursday, 30 Av (Aug. 20)
Names may be submitted until 10:00 AM on Thursday, 30 Av (Aug. 20)
By a minyan of great Torah scholars At Dawn A time when tefillos are more readily accepted for forty days
By a minyan of great Torah scholars Forty days and forty nights With Guidance from Maran Hagaon Harav Kanievsky, shlit”a
With a contribution of $ 170 (Per name)
With a contribution of $ 250 (Per name)
Names may be submitted until 10:00 AM on Thursday, 30 Av (Aug. 20)
Names may be submitted until 7:00 PM Wednesday 29 Av (Aug. 19)
May Hashem Hear Our Cries Please make checks payable to: American Friends of Kupat Ha'ir
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