Testimony from H a g a on Harav Chaim K a n i e v sky, shlit”a: נותנין לקופה של צדקה "אין מונה עליה (:)ב"ב י
אלא א"כ מ ".כר"ח בן תרדיון
"In our generation, this refers to Kupat Ha’ir, where those in charge are as worthy as R abbi Chananyah ben Taradyon. That is where tzedak ah should be given."
Kupat Ha’ir from a The top brass of Bank Pagi visit the homes of the Gedolei Hador, shlit”a, official members of the Kupat Ha’ir administration Sometimes even a black-and-white line on a bank statement stands out. It isn’t every day, after all, that one sees the signature of Maran Hagaon Harav Aharon Leib Steinman, shlit”a, on a check! Excitement at Bank Pagi, through which Kupat Ha’ir conducts its affairs, ran high. All of a sudden, the bank began receiving checks signed by the Gedolei Hador, shlit”a! The bank has been of invaluable assistance to Kupat Ha’ir ever since the latter’s establishment. True, Kupat Ha’ir is a huge client, but the service and courtesy extended by the bank surpasses financial considerations. We’re all Yidden and a mitzvah as wonderful as that of tzedakah, especially when carried out by people who work on a volunteer basis, talks to everyone’s heart. Bank Pagi decided that it, too, wanted a role in this great mitzvah. The decision was made that the bank would make a considerable donation to Kupat Ha’ir. But a contribution like that doesn’t just get transferred from hand to hand. In a series of three meetings in the homes of the Gedolei Hador, shlit”a, the management of Bank Pagi expressed its unstinting faith in Kupat Ha’ir. Accompanied by the heartfelt blessings of the Gedolei Hador, they became partners in the largest organization in the world. The first visit was to the home of Hagaon Harav Steinman, shlit”a. The bank’s delegation consisted of the bank chairman, Mr. Dov Goldfriend, who took valuable time out of his busy schedule for this visit and various members of the management, including the
Maran Hagaon Harav Aharon Leib Steinman, shlit”a, greeting the chairman of the bank, Mr. Dov Goldfriend
The Bank Pagi management in the home of Maran Hagaon Harav Michel Yehudah Lefkowitz, shlit”a
chief accountant and the branch managers of chareidi branches of the bank, most notably Mr. Dan Levy of the Bnei Brak branch. A number of very interesting halachic questions were raised at the meetings. The bank managers took advantage of this rare opportunity to verify certain points that had troubled them for years. Interesting questions – and even more interesting answers. Most fascinating of all was hearing the unique outlook of each individual gadol on the same matter. If a client wasn’t conducting his affairs wisely, should the bank restrict his credit so he would be unable to make expenditures he didn’t have the coverage for, or should the bank allow him to grow more and more overdrawn in order to survive? Should one go into
m a Different Angle debt in order to marry off his children or take the risk of waiting only to find that it takes more money to find a shidduch for an older bachur or girl? Was living in crowded conditions an unfortunate necessity or a commendable implementation of histapkus bemu’at, making do with little? This was the type of hashkafah issues that were discussed there. The gabba’im of Kupat Ha’ir spoke about the bank’s dedication to all Kupat Ha’ir’s affairs while the bank managers expressed their admiration for the meticulous organization of Kupat Ha’ir’s management. “We’re very impressed by the professionalism and meticulous management of Kupat Ha’ir, despite the huge scope of its operation,” the chairman said admiringly. “An account like Kupat Ha’ir’s is rare, very rare … every piece of data is in place; every document is in perfect order; all the details match; all the accounts are in order; cash flows without the slightest hitch. Everyone makes errors sometimes – it’s only human – but Kupat Ha’ir never makes even little mistakes.” “I contribute personally to Kupat Ha’ir,” the chairman said. “I know that with Kupat Ha’ir, every shekel I give goes to the right place.” The delegation’s next stop was the home of Maran Hagaon Harav Michel Yehudah Lefkowitz, shlit”a. Harav Lefkowitz discussed with the bank managers the great importance of Kupat Ha’ir’s insistence on mattan beseser, which means that contributors are not aware of the identity of the recipients and vice versa. “Every effort is made not to cause embarrassment, to preserve dignity, to provide people with their needs without causing them humiliation and distress.” Harav Lefkowitz also expressed his great satisfaction with the fact that everything in Kupat Ha’ir is done on a volunteer basis, purely for the sake of the mitzvah - and with unparalleled integrity. “The honesty and trustworthiness of Kupat Ha’ir is complete and absolute,” said Harav Lefkowitz to the members of the delegation. “All the gabba’im work on a strictly volunteer basis even though the type of managerial work they do commands a relatively high salary. All the money that comes in goes to tzedakah and great care is taken with
the money. Everything is done in accordance with instructions from the Gedolei Hador and the members of the rabbinical committee that oversees every step.” The chairman responded with an additional contribution intended for the fundraiser. It was in the home of Maran Hagaon Harav Chaim Kanievsky, shlit”a, that Bank Pagi made its great contribution. When everyone was seated, the manager of the Bnei Brak branch of Bank Pagi spoke, stressing Kupat Ha’ir’s integrity in all its actions. “I, too, have something to say about Kupat Ha’ir,” said Harav Kanievsky. “It is written in the Gemara that a tzedakah fund should be run by a gabbai tzedakah of the caliber of Rabbi Chanina ben Tradyon. In our generation, it is Kupat Ha’ir that answers to this criterion,” he concluded.
The chairman of the bank hands the contribution to Maran Harav Kanievsky, shlit”a.
Maran, shlit”a, looking at the check.
An Ancient Segulah That Has Come to Life
The hush of prayer fills the ezras nashim. Everyone feels the solemnity of Rosh Hashanah in her heart. The women hunch over their machzorim as they strain to hear krias haTorah and the reading of the haftarah thereafter. Suddenly, the sound of quiet sobbing disturbs the hushed silence. Spontaneously, people’s eyes seek the source of the distressed sound. Someone is standing there, her face buried in her machzor as her back heaves with sobs. In a flash, understanding dawns on everyone’s face. People’s eyes fill with tears of pity. On the other side of the mechitzah, the men stand helplessly. Krias haTorah is over and the avreich who has received “haftaras Chanah” is trembling beneath his tallis, unable to recite the brachos. Now the entire beis knesses is fighting back tears as everyone offers wordless prayers up to Shamayim. A deep feeling of unity unites the congregants and binds their tefilos together. Soon the puffy-eyed couple will leave the beis knesses and return to their empty home. How long have they been waiting? It doesn’t matter. Seven, seventeen, twenty-seven – every day is a year, every month an eternity.
How It All Began In 5761, one of the gabba’im at Kupat Ha’ir received an anonymous letter. The letter directed the gabbai to a certain page in the sefer Mo’ed Kol Chai, authored by the mekubal Harav Chaim Falaji, ztvk”l, rav of Izmir some 200 years ago. You ought to publicize this segulah, the letter said. The gabbai shrugged his shoulders. Segulos were not exactly Kupat Ha’ir’s area of involvement. Still, something wouldn’t let him forget the letter completely. Anyone with a close friend or relative who is childless – be it for four years or forty – knows a bit about the greatness of the nisayon and the difficulty of withstanding it. Maybe publicizing it would help one such couple? The thought made it impossible for him to bury the letter in his drawer and conveniently forget about it. On erev Shavuos, Kupat Ha’ir printed black and white flyers as cheaply as possible and hoped that it was worth the minimal expense. The contributions came in
and the gabba’im hoped and prayed they would indeed hear good news.
One Year Later Quiet feedback began filtering in a short while later, and as the months passed, it became louder and more frequent. The gabba’im’s hearts began pounding: could all these stories really be attributed to that segulah? Had Kupat Ha’ir really played a role in this awesome zechus?
The letters began pouring in… Not a single one was read dry-eyed to the end. They were so effusive in their gratitude and joy that these emotions leaped out from between the lines and “infected” everyone who read them. The secretary couldn’t resist hanging these letters on the bulletin board for all to see. The 5762 brochure detailed the story of one family that was helped. The segulah was printed in bold letters along with the exact quotation from Harav Chaim Falaji’s sefer and clear instructions on how to carry it out. Once again, we had no choice but to wait nearly an entire year. Once again, the letters poured in, oozing joy and gratitude. You could almost hear the words breaking out in song. People had waited for years; tried treatments and segulos galore, in vain; turned the world upside down - and remained empty-handed. And the longawaited treasure had arrived through this segulah, through Kupat Ha’ir! In 5763, the segulah was already well known and everyone was talking about it. Some families embraced their firstborn after years of barrenness; others merited this precious gift for the second or third time after a considerable “break.” One family of girls merited its first kaddish’l and a different family reported the birth of twins. The overwhelming excitement among the public publicized the matter more effectively than any advertising gimmick.
The Age of Questions As always happens when something is “too successful”, people begin questioning the practice. Is it permissible
to perform segulos, to believe in them, to publicize them? Who said it was permissible to use kabbalah to achieve what “conventional” tefilos could not? Since it was Kupat Ha’ir who had publicized the segulah, it was to Kupat Ha’ir to whom these questions were addressed. Kupat Ha’ir did what it always does in such situations and went to the Gedolei Hador to receive a halachic ruling. Permitted? Forbidden? Should we continue publicizing the matter? Should we stop? Maran Hagaon Harav Aharon Leib Steinman, shlit”a, responded that, “It is indeed true that the main thing is prayer, but certainly this segulah from Hagaon Harav Chaim Falaji adds a lot and it is proper to publicize it for many families have certainly been helped through it.” Hagaon Harav Chaim Kanievsky, shlit”a, replied as follows: “Certainly it should be publicized.” The Rebbe of Chernobyl, shlit”a, went so far as to say, “It is a great mitzvah to publicize this.” Kupat Ha’ir therefore continued citing the source of this segulah in its brochures and the matter continued eliciting much feedback.
Contributing On Behalf of Others The following year, someone performed the segulah on behalf of his friend, who had been married for 25 years. He hadn’t wanted to ask his friend whether he had tried the segulah for fear the question would inflict pain. He was reasonably sure that someone married 25 years had heard and tried every segulah in existence, but he preferred to contribute on his own just in case he hadn’t. The good news was not long in coming . After personally participating in the bris milah, he asked the new father the question he had been itching to know for quite some time now. To his astonishment, his friend had never heard of the segulah! Extremely moved and very surprised that there were still childless couples who had not heard about the segulah, he put pen to paper and urged us to publicize the miracle his friend had merited and to continue informing the public about the segulah. And the public responded.
As with every subject, people tend to talk about and marvel over success stories with their friends and relatives. But childlessness is such a sensitive topic that people hesitate to raise the subject at all with couples experiencing the worst of it. Unfortunately, this leads to a situation where those who have the most need for this segulah have the least chance of finding out about it! Unless they read the Kupat Ha’ir brochures, chances are they have never heard of the segulah. But that doesn’t mean other people can’t help them! True, $ 104 is money, even a lot of money. But when you consider the ocean of pain the childless couple is enduring; the unhappiness of their younger siblings who already have large families yet whose simchos are tinged with distress; the desperation of their parents, who cannot sleep at night; the dozens of conversations cut short in discomfort and unpleasantness; the stammered sentences that only make things worse; the utter helplessness and the implications on so many related matters – what’s $ 104? Feel uncomfortable asking? Afraid you might cause pain? There’s another way… And even if they have already tried (and you can never know for certain until you ask), it can’t hurt to try again. We can only try to imagine the joy of the Yid who contributed on behalf of his friend when he learned that it was thanks to him (apparently) that his friend had a baby after 25 years. This is a type of joy that lasts forever – knowing you merited being the shaliach to bring the greatest gift of all to your friend. Brothers, parents, friends, co-workers… your siddur is wet with tears you’ve spilled, and no tear is in vain.
You’ve recited Tehillim and Perek Shira and Shir shel yom. You’ve separated challah yourself and arranged to have forty women separate challah along with you that same week. You’ve arranged to have 1,000 sifrei Tehillim recited and a kvittel sent to the ohel of the Noam Elimelech, zy”a; you’ve sent a messenger to pray at the tziyun of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and given tzedakah to the Rabbi Meir Ba’al Hanes pushka and visited the Kosel for forty consecutive days.
What haven’t you tried? And after all these segulos, which have indeed helped many, many people, there are many others who have not yet been helped. There is something else to try. Contribute $ 104 to Kupat Ha’ir in accordance with the instructions of this renowned segulah. “Certainly this segulah adds a lot,” said Harav Steinman, shlit”a. “Harav Chaim Falaji doesn’t need my endorsement,” commented Harav Michel Yehudah Lefkowitz, shlit”a. “A segulah from a famed tzaddik and mekubal from two centuries ago that will, with Hashem’s help, prove very helpful to childless couples,” said the Rebbe of Chernobyl, shlit”a. May Hashem Yisbarach help all those who perform this segulah to be blessed with zera shel kayama and a yeshuah in other areas,” added Harav Kanievsky, shlit”a.
Through Kupat Ha’ir True, the segulah does not specify that success is conditional upon contributing to Kupat Ha’ir specifically. Unfortunately, there are plenty of poor talmidei chachamim around… but it’s not that easy to find them. Giving through Kupat Ha’ir is safer, surer. “It is obvious that Kupat Ha’ir is the worthy place,” Maran Hagaon Harav Steinman replied simply. “Kupat Ha’ir needs money, so Hakadosh Baruch Hu performs miracles through it,” Harav Kanievsky has explained repeatedly. “Surely the best place to perform this segulah is Kupat Ha’ir,” declared Hagaon Harav Michel Yehudah Lefkowitz, shlit”a.
Kupat Ha’ir makes sure all the $ 104 donations it receives are forwarded to talmidei chachamim. Some people – even those who do not need a particular yeshuah – take advantage of this opportunity and make contributions intended for those who toil in Torah. Can there be a greater merit than supporting talmidei chachamim? And so the Shavuos fundraiser has almost unintentionally become the “Reb Chaim Falaji Fundraiser”. The five years that have passed since those black-and-white flyers were first printed have brought hundreds of babies into this world, to families who longed for them more than anything else. Today, some of these children already have peyos adorning their faces and are studying the aleph beis with great excitement. In some families, a “window of blessing” has opened and the first child has been joined by siblings. Does anyone still have doubts?
Success with a Sign Apparently so. In a letter that arrived shortly after Shavuos, an avreich from abroad related that when he first read about the segulah, he wondered how all the people who merited a yeshuah knew for certain that it was this segulah that had helped them. After all, he reasoned, chances were that this was not the only segulah they had tried. He made a commitment that if he received a clear sign that it was specifically this segulah that had been effective in Shamayim, he would publicize the matter. His son’s pidyon haben came out precisely on the “yahrtzeit” of the day he had performed the segulah. “I think this is a sufficient sign,” he writes at the end of his letter. One young woman who was dejected about a shidduch that hadn’t worked out for her decided to contribute the segulah. She was no longer young and “I thought to myself that in order to have children, I first had to get married – which was what I really wanted.” She got engaged, married, and had a baby – all before the following Shavuos!
The letters keep pouring in and children keep being born and illuminating the homes that have waited for them for so long. People keep counting out 91 coins and adding coins until the sum of $ 104 (twice the gematriya of ben) is reached. And then they continue counting the days until their yeshuah arrives.
This Year More Than Ever Klal Yisrael has suffered so many tragedies this past year. So many families have sat shivah and dozens of orphans have been left bewildered and bereft. The heart longs for simchos, for mazel tovs, for yeshuos. How can we help? How can we increase joy? How can we bring yeshuos? The answer is right here. 104 and another 104, one baby and another. Jewish babies are joining Am Yisrael. How many families avoid making get-togethers in order to avoid causing pain to those who would have to come empty-handed? How many “tough” men look away on Simchas Torah when the voice of the person who receives the aliyah of Kol Hane’arim begins trembling suddenly? At how many brissos do people look pityingly at the kvatter, who feels his back burning from those looks but keeps accepting the kibbud and suffering in silence despite the difficulty involved because “maybe it will help”? Too many. Way too many. One doesn’t have to swallow the lump in one’s throat and keep on living that way. One doesn’t have to shrug helplessly.
There is something that can be done!
761 performed) 5 m o fr y r o t s l a in should be The og rthig which the segulah in r ne an m e in (with details regard f Ayin e r e h ’ K m e h s a Yeshuas H c young the poster, a small but powerful voice deep insidestehism
would b Moshe, a Chassidi to him that their yeshua d ere isp wh t ar On erev Shavuos, 5761, Re he r ste po to a himself looking at y tried numerous segulos, ead alr d ha He re. he man from Bnei Brak, found m t: fro ar r spoke directly to his he from Harav Chaim from Kupat Ha’ir. The poste of Harav Chaim Falaji, no avail…but this was a segulah sefer and the poster said the it bore an excerpt from the i, the great Rav of Izmir, laj Fa ny people had zy”a. This is what it said: back 200 years and that ma ted da h ula seg tos ru pe d ad n perutos and the “…he should set aside 91 helped. : how lue of twice the numerical been until he has reached the va This money should then Reb Moshe contacted Kupat Ha’ir with a question n. pat Ha’ir told equivalent of the word be r. This is a much is a peruta in modern currency? Ku ola sch rah To le mb hu d an be today, be given to a poor alent of a perutah would uiv eq the at wh him s.” ple oshe saw that 91 segulah for childless cou he was and after doing the arithmetic, Reb M se cau be t ar he e’s osh M b consulted This poster spoke to Re was perutos came to all of six and a half shekels. He He e. ag rri ma of rs yea of am, who told him still childless after a number and desperately worried. end of his, a talmid chach fri a th wi n, tio ua sit the ention is by deeply pained emptiness that when the word perutah is used, the int of g lin fee the ar be ’t ldn of He and his wife cou shower not a speciﬁc value; rather, it means the smallest unit to by, ba a for e car to ged riod. In our in their home. They lon th all their hearts to currency in a particular area and time pe wi d nte wa ey Th e. lov th rutah a child wi ply,” and to raise times, the friend advised, the equivalent of a pe lti mu d an th for “go of a fulﬁll the mitzv . They also wanted dearly to would be a dollar. ah tor ha h rec de pi al ild ch a neighborhood rents, whose eyes were ﬁlled nt to a gabbai tzedakah in the we e osh M gladden their concerned pa b Re coins. their plight. ndred bill for one hundred hu e on a ge with sadness and concern at an ch to er ry Jew in such a situation ting and counting coin aft Ofcourst, they did what eve of all Flesh, praying and His wife found him sit his g smile illuminatin aler counting to 104 coins, a n, does: they turned to the He coi ir the ed ur po ey Th . at he was doing, m a child oshe hurried to explain wh M b Re pleading that He grant the e. all fac im dik tza se of the rei d visited kiv are helped, when the promi we n he “W hearts out at the Kosel an g ew din kn ad ey Th I . they were alone fulﬁlled, be’ezras Hashem, is i laj Fa im Ca over the country – but still b Re le ik gib dd tan tza t they longed to see racle.” that no teﬁla was in vain, bu s. yer promise to publicize the mi pra ir the to ing ten lis s wa m will join proof that Hashe of the mitzva of tzedaka ach fe ko wi the his s ap d an erh e “P osh M Reb tip the scales in Upon his Rebbe’s advice, for help, all the other segulos we’ve done, and rs cto do to g nin tur er sid e believed were beginning to con Moshe Shamayim in our favor,” his wife said. Sh b Re to. nt wa n’t did m although they really a that tzedaka tatzil mimaves, charity rescues one fro for m she Ha in a un em nness were did not lose his t Hashem r, the long years of barre moment. He was certain tha hua. In death, and for he would send them a yes comparable to death. h, ug tho e, e met one of the tim the mean e after Shavuos, Reb Mosh tim me So d he etc str ’ir, and he the days o volunteers for Kupat Ha wh im ch rei av d an hat out long e source of the segulah. “W cis pre the to as ed uir inq e befor wondered. empty it make now?” the avreich es do e nc ere ut diﬀ tho wi m, the y behind us.” the sound of a “Shavuos is alread er to know the source, child’s whimper Reb Moshe, however, was very eag ere in the sefer it to break the so the avreich showed him exactly wh nt home ﬁlled with hopes, silence. was written. Reb Moshe we erev expectations, and a prayer on his lips. On year after he read as Shavuos, weeks later, less than a few A braced his infant Moshe Reb ’ir’s poster, Reb Moshe em Ha t pa Ku stood looking at daughter!
, er h Falaji’s fat
יפריש צ"א פרוטות וישלים עד שיעור ב' פעמים ב"ן,
יתנם לתלמיד חכם עני ועניו ,והוא תיקון אדם הראשון ועוון העגל ולפגם הברית
והוא סגולה לחשוכי בנים ומקרב הגאולה זכור לטוב הגביר וכו' שהיה מחלק סך רב לכל הת"ח וצנועים בערב חג שבועות בשמחה ובטוב לבב, גם לשאר בשרי וכו'.
הזכרתי שמותם כדי שמהם יראו וכן יעשו איש איש במקומו וכבר כתבתי בזה בספרי הקטן "תוכחת חיים" מענין חיוב להחזיק לומדי תורה בעצרת טפי משאר מועדים הגר"ח פאלאג'י בספרו מועד לכל חי
C av Har
One should set aside 91 perutos and then add more perutos until he reaches the numerical equivalent of twice the word “ben”=104 And give them to a needy, humble talmid chacham...
It is a segulah for childless couples and draws the Redemption closer.
d n i M
When will Uri get new shoes?
ma makes her way from bed to bed, straightening quilts, fluffing pillows, closing the window. It’s been a busy erev Yom Tov day. The little ones played in the park while the older children cooked and cleaned. Shavuos was only two days away and she felt too weak to handle the preparations on her own. She had spent most of her morning sitting at the table, peeling vegetables and polishing silver. Then she’d cleaned the counter and gone to see what progress the other children had made in the rest of the house. “Ima, don’t overexert yourself,” her middle daughter had said, her sensitive eyes scanning her mother’s pallid face. She had felt ashamed. Wasn’t it the mother
g n i l g g o B
who was supposed to fret over her children rather than the other way around? Her girls had cleaned and cooked and run errands without complaining or even sighing - so how come she couldn’t do the same? Now she was walking through the bedrooms and gazing at her precious children asleep. They were all exhausted, poor things. Even the boys had worked hard. A sudden movement caught her eye. Six-year-old Miriam was staring up at the ceiling with wide eyes. She was not asleep. “Miriam?” her mother asked quietly, careful not to wake the others. She sat down at the edge of Miriam’s bed. “Ima, when Moshiach comes, Yitzchaki will come back too, right?” “Right, Miriam.” “And when Moshiach comes, we’ll all be happy, right?”
“Right.” “Esty told me…” Miriam paused, lost in thought. Esty was her oldest sister, the one who had been running the household since Yitzchaki got sick. “When Moshiach comes I’ll be able to get new shoes for Yom Tov and Uri will get new pants, right?” “Maybe you’ll still get new shoes for Yom Tov.” How dare she instill such hope in her daughter’s heart? She knew the real situation better than any of them… “No, Esty told us not to ask,” Miriam said determinedly. Her mother’s eyes filled with tears. “Esty said that when Yitzchaki became sick, all the money had to go for doctors and medicine for him and nothing is left over to buy just plain stuff. We can wait, right Ima? We can wait until Moshiach comes for new clothes.” Ima gripped the corner of Miriam’s bed as waves of pain threatened to overwhelm her. Their family had endured a very difficult period, a period filled with fear and tears, prayers and unbearable pain. In the end, Yitzchak had been taken from them. But that wasn’t all. Her older daughters
were bearing the family’s financial burden on their young shoulders, trying anxiously to eliminate expenses. The small children, who had bravely endured a long period of time without their parents’ attention were now suffering from heartrending lack and poverty. “Esty told us not to ask,” Miriam repeated. Ima rose and held on to the wall opposite her. The world felt so heavy on her shoulders, so sad and painful. She recalled the scene she had witnessed the day before. “These pants are torn! Torn!” Uri had said as he sat on the floor, Shabbos pants in hand. “Don’t you see? They’re torn! The rip is in the material, not in the seam! They can’t be fixed!” he was in tears. “Don’t ask Ima,” Esty pleaded with him, unaware that she heard every word through the door. “I’ll try to get you a pair of pants. I’ll ask my friends; maybe someone has nice pants that are too small for her brother already. We’ll manage. But don’t ask Ima… there’s not enough money for that.” Fourteen-year-old Esty doesn’t know that hearing such conversations hurts her mother more than anything else. If she only had thirty shekels to buy Uri new pants… it would make everyone happy. Esty’s shoulders were too narrow to bear the burden of an entire family. At least they would have food for Yom Tov; Kupat Ha’ir would see to that. But that wouldn’t cover the cost of a pair of pants for Uri, not even thirty-shekel pants. She longed to give her children the feeling that life was getting back to normal… but she might as well have been wishing for a trip to the moon. It was simply impossible.
The reading nightmare
vremi sits at his desk, listening to the Rebbe test his class on the aleph beis. All his friends know which letter is which and answer the Rebbe without hesitation, but although he struggles mightily, the letters jumble together in his mind. Oy, the long-time Rebbe thinks to himself. Another such a child in the same family. Avremi comes from a fine, respectable family, but the children all have trouble learning to read. Avremi’s father called the Rebbe sometimes to praise him for his efforts, though it was obvious they weren’t helping much. What the Rebbe doesn’t know is that Avremi’s father, who is all of 41 years old, is suffering from an advanced stage of Parkinson’s disease and no longer leaves the house. The children see their father in a state of pathetic helplessness. A father whose life has ended at the ripe old age of 40; a father who sits home all day and sees how frustrated and ashamed, his children are as a result of their reading difficulties. They think of themselves as dumb and pathetic; their social lives are in the dust. They neither go to friends n o r bring friends home.
g n i l g g d Bo
There is a specialist who has been successful at teaching even such tough cases to read – but he charges thousands of shekels per child. Avremi’s father can’t afford that kind of money – he has Parkinson’s, his wife is handicapped, and there are a few children in the family who need the expert tutor’s help. Hard as they try, the parents know they cannot build their children’s self-esteem or enhance their social status until they learn to read. The children know they cannot dream of growing up to be talmidei chachamim if they don’t have the key to all learning. The label “lazy” haunts them day and night.
“Thousands of shekels” is a lot of money - but how much is it, really, for a child’s life? Avremi and his siblings are good children, easygoing and obedient. They are prepared to kiss the feet of whoever gives them what they consider the most blessed treasure in the world: learning to read. That’s all they want… to know how to read. But how can a family that struggles to put food on the table even begin to contemplate paying for evaluations and private tutoring with a professional? After struggling through unbearably difficult days at school, the children come home to a house that is anything but a haven of security. At home there are other problems, difficulties that weigh heavily as lead even on adults’ shoulders.
were faced with. What’s an apartment compared to a life? Since they sold their apartment, however, they’ve had to move numerous times, a physically and emotionally exhausting situation for people in their circumstances. The situation is heartrending; their poverty unbearable. The Zs are not asking for anything… their situation is so bitter that they don’t even have the emotional strength to try to find assistance T h e y need
They're not asking for anything.
he Z family is suffering, too. Once they were a happy couple with happy children. Today they are wretched and miserable, hounded by tzaros. First the wife got sick – so sick that the whole house stopped functioning. Then one of the children fell ill, too, and as soon as the mother was out of the hospital herself, she had to start running there again to be with her son in the oncology ward. The little boy took very strong chemotherapy that rotted his teeth completely. He needed a set of $10,000 dentures so he would be able to eat. When he finally recovered, Baruch Hashem, and returned to the land of the living, his mother’s illness returned, r"l. The Zs sold their apartment to pay for the astronomical medical expenses they
nutritious food for the sick mother and child - for the whole family, as a matter of fact. They need rest and peace of mind in order to get better.
machine, somehow, things begin to move. Rescue activities are carried out and the families begin breathing in relief. When we look back, we see that a difference has in fact been made.
g n i l g g Bo
They need !!!
hat do we do with all these needs? How do we decide which family’s needs are most pressing? How can we bring the light of Yom Tov to these families – without your help? It’s impossible. The truth is that it’s impossible even with your help. These situations are so complicated, so difficult, so complex – that one’s hands drop to one’s sides in helpless despair. But we at Kupat Ha’ir have a mission to accomplish and that knowledge infuses us with strength. It motivates us, urges us on, obligates us to at least start trying to alleviate the situation. And when you stand behind us and pour gasoline into this critically important
Before you set your own Yom Tov table, take a look back as well. See what you’ve accomplished thus far, with Hashem’s help, with the ability He has blessed you with. Look! You have merited playing the role of the good messenger who has brought tears of gratitude into these families’ eyes. And then, before you finish preparing your own Yom Tov, feel the chills climbing up your back at the thought that there are some families who have not yet been helped.
Donations can be sent to: Rabbi Shmuel Berenbaum Shlita 1795 East 7th Street Brooklyn, New York 11223 Rabbi Malkiel Kotler Shlita 521 5th Street Lakewood, New Jersey 08701 Rabbi Matisyahu Salomon Shlita 637 6th Street Lakewood, New Jersey 08701
Rabbi Chaim Leib Epstein Shlita 1608 46th Street Brooklyn, New York 11204 Rabbi Dovid Goldwasser Shlita 1336 East 21st Street Brooklyn, New York York 11210 Rabbi Aron Schechter Shlita 1141 East 17th Street Brooklyn, New York 11230
Rabbi Moshe Wolfson Shlita 1619 41st Street Brooklyn, New York 11218
Rabbi Pinchos Breuer Shlita 1167 East 29th Street Brooklyn, New York 11210
Rabbi Don Blumberg Shlita 4 Yale Drive Monsey, NewYork 10952
Rabbi Avrohom Chaim Feuer Shlita 8 Ash Street Monsey, New York 10952
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g in iv e c e r it r e m n a c o o t ou a personal Bracha
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 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? your donation in the enclosed your donation to the Rabbonim in envelope. 3 Send your area (see list on Envelope). 1 Send Call the 24 Hour Tzeddakah Hotline Send your donation to: at Shmuel Berenbaum 4 Rabbi 2Fax: 1795 East 7th Street, (donation by credit card)
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 Send your donation to: Montreal: Rabbi Y. C. Wenger Shlita, 2227 Goyer Avenue, Montreal Quebec H3S 1H1 Toronto: Rabbi M. M. Lowy Shlita, 240 Carmichael, Toronto Ontario M5M 2x4 Please make checks payable to: Canadian Friends of Kupat Ha'ir