Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

27 Ellul 5760 - September 27, 2000 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








Produced and housed by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Home and Family
A New Kupas Ho'ir in Bnei Brak
by Yated Ne'eman Staff

At a special gathering of rabbonim at the home of HaRav Yehuda Silman in Ramat Elchonon, the Bnei Brak rabbonim who are involved in raising tzedokoh throughout the year decided to establish a central tzedokoh fund to be called "the City Fund (Kupas Ho'ir)," which will centralize activities on behalf of families in the city who need help.

The following rabbonim attended the meeting: HaRav Mordechai Gross, HaRav Moshe Shaul Klein, HaRav Shmuel Eliezer Stern, HaRav Menachem Mendel Shafran, and the host HaRav Yehuda Silman.

A City Fund -- The Need Of The Hour

HaRav Yehuda Silman, one of the foremost rabbonim in Bnei Brak, spoke with us regarding the City Fund and its aims:

Q. HaRav Silman, why was the City Fund established just now?

A. Despite the many chessed institutions with which Bnei Brak is blessed, various cries for help reach the rabbonim, whether from neighbors, from communal workers, or from relatives, about this family or that, with great difficulty in bearing the financial burden of the home, usually due to some special crisis or tragedy.

Q. What do the rabbonim do when receiving such a cry?

A. We contact the communal workers and tell them the situation.

Q. Who are these "communal workers"?

A. These "communal workers" are sincere young men who can be included in the Rambam's category of "well-known and honest people" who it is an obligation to appoint "in every city where Jewish People live." We turn to these young men whether at 3.00 a.m. or at 2.00 p.m., and never have we received a reply: "Not now, later."

Q. What do the communal workers do?

A. They organize a emergency money-raising-campaigns amongst the many people who all give readily for the needy of the city, each according to his pocket.

Q. Maybe you can give us an example?

A. Certainly. Not long age we received an urgent telephone call from a grocer, who related that one of his customers who is considered well-off and had always paid on time has long stopped paying his debts, and that his debts have now reached a very considerable sum. The grocer, himself an established person of means, drew out the debt for a long period of time, but he had gone as far as he could. Meanwhile, he tried to inquire about the situation. It transpired that one of the children in the family was seriously ill and as a result the house became paralyzed financially, since the parents were busy almost all the time with the child and found no time for parnosso. As a result we, the rabbonim, came into the picture. We managed to raise the required sum and have supported the family ever since.

Q. This really is hatzolas nefoshos!

A. Certainly! And this is only one example of many. Very often the communal workers, at the directives of the rabbonim, pay off tremendous debts which have accumulated in vegetable stores, or meat and fish stores. Shlomo Hamelech writes in Mishlei: "There is he who seems rich but he has nothing," which means that there are people who make the impression of being wealthy but the truth is that they have nothing.

There are people in our city who make the impression of being distinguished and honorable, whilst in their home, there is no food to eat.

I will bring a further example of the wife of a kollel person, who worked as a teacher and suffered a breakdown after the birth of her ninth child. The doctors ruled that she must have complete rest. This being a delicate situation, they were embarrassed to tell others about their difficulty, but suddenly their checks began bouncing. This grocery store closed the door on them, the other grocery store began presenting difficulties -- and the house literally was about to collapse.

One of our community workers went to see the situation for himself and he could hardly believe what he saw: eleven people crowded into a two room apartment, everything neglected. Immediately the family was transferred elsewhere: two children were sent to one family, three to another and so on. Meanwhile the apartment was renovated and slightly expanded, the beds and bedding were exchanged and the color came back to the children's cheeks. This is a typical story, which, to our regret, is repeated all too often.

Q. Do these activities not hamper the regular activities of the city rabbonim?

A. As long as such cases were rare, it didn't really interfere. Recently, as we are called in much more frequently it has changed. HaRav Chaim Ozer Grodzensky zt"l once said towards the end of his life: "In my youth, I thought it was more important for a person such as myself to be involved with chidushei Torah and writing seforim. Now I see writing seforim as child's play compared to the urgent need to support widows and orphans, the poor and talmidei chachomim."

Q. What are the plans for this new fund?

A. This new fund will centralize all the activities of the rabbonim and the community workers. The City Fund will be run by those rabbonim who are raising the tzedokoh funds all year round, with the cooperation of the dedicated communal workers who are in daily contact with us. The rabbonim are the only ones with the power of signature for the bank account of the fund, and all activities of the fund are carried out by a majority of the rabbonim.

Visits to Great Rabbonim

Members of the Bnei Brak Tzedokoh Fund paid a most inspiring visit to HaRav Shmuel Wosner, gaon and av beis din of Zichron Meir Bnei Brak, who received them with especial warmth and gave his warm brocho to each and every one of the donors and to the organizers.

HaRav Chaim Kanievsky wished the City Fund brocho and hatzlocho and stressed that it is an excellent and prominent cause and doubled his brocho therein. This was reported by his dedicated secretary, HaRav Eliahu Mann.

The Admor of Vishnitz stated that it is "a very great undertaking." The Admor transferred a sizable donation to the fund and stressed that the community has an obligation to donate generously. He concluded with a warm blessing for brocho and hatzlocho to all who are involved and to those who assist this lofty undertaking.

How Can We Donate To The Bnei Brak City Fund?

1. With a credit card by telephone: 1-800-39-47-47

2. Send your donation to P.O.B. 49, Bnei Brak.

3. Deposit your donation in our account in Bank Poalei Agudath Israel 42 Chazon Ish St. Account No. 105-366-145.

4. Call the above telephone no. and ask for the list of the rabbonim in your area to whom you can give your donation.


All material on this site is copyrighted and its use is restricted.
Click here for conditions of use.