Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

22 Av 5766 - August 16, 2006 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Home and Family

A `Big' Story, a Bus Story, and, of course, a Gemach Story
by Sheindel Weinbach

Aren't we all waiting, breaths held, for a Grand Finale, for the curtain rising on a new era called The Era of Moshiach? (Even if it be `disproportionate' to our merit . . . ) For that time when, with hindsight, we will be able to smile and nod knowingly, "Oz yimolei s'chok pinu . . . ".

Surely, someone will take the initiative to write a book soon about the miracles that occurred in this current war, and how Hashem was holding our hands all along, and guiding those terrible rockets to their addresses. And if property had to be damaged in the Divine plan, at least there was a minimum of lives claimed.

There will be many happy stories to relate then. Let these be included in the chronicle:

There is an organization headquartered in Beis Yisroel, Jerusalem, called Mercaz Meida Yahadut, which coordinates information on everything to do with Yiddishkeit and Kiruv: shiurim throughout the country and speakers available for them, Shabbos placement, kitchen kashering, school registration and lots more (POB 5232, tel. 5811911). It is run by a Mrs. Grossman, whose contact in Mattersdorf is Rachel Kraus. At a phone call's notice, they can organize brissim, bar mitzvas, help for distressed families, food for soldiers on reserve duty (it was a Pesach when there was a major callup two years back and Mehadrin food was required . . . ) and so on.

Mrs. Kraus gets an SOS call from Mrs. Grossman to help organize a bar mitzvah for a displaced family from Tzefas, which is a ghost town these days. Not only does the mother hardly know anyone in Jerusalem or what to do, she also has a son in the hospital right now!

No problem. Mrs. Kraus is about to get busy on the phone, when it preempts her.

Another Mrs. Grossman on the line (we have a few in the neighborhood). Someone just gave her $180 to help a family from the North. Shoin!

From Grossman to Grossman; a grois example of Divine Providence.


And a bus story. Told to me on a bus by a reader.

"I got off the bus the other day together with another woman, a stranger. I was about to continue on my way, when she stopped me and said, very emotionally:

"`I am beside myself. I must tell you what just happened on the bus before you got on. Someone stood up, he faced all the passengers and announced: `There is a family from the North which is looking for a place to stay. They are desperate and are willing to pay $125 per week. Does anyone know of anything?'

"`There were no takers. The man paused and then began again, `There is a family here from the North, desperate for a place to stay. Is there anyone willing to take them in for free?'

"`And, believe it or not, quite a few hands went up!' "


And a clothing gemach story.

Beged Yad LeYad is traditionally closed for the Nine Days. (We have our Rosh Chodesh sale before.) But due to the many requests for clothing for our displaced brothers from the North, who came as-is and had no changes for the Nine Days, we opened up on Wednesday.

There were women from Tzefat, Acco and Haifa that I know of. "Do we have any or know of any playpens?" one woman asked. Good people had organized a huge compound in the Old City for about 100 people including babies. I had just brought a twin carriage, but playpens are a rarity.

"Why not get some exercise mattresses from community centers?" I suggested. "Children and babies can sleep on the floor and not roll off . . . "

On the spot, another women volunteered, "I know that the Achinoam school in the Old City has a large amount of them. I'll contact them for you." One big problem solved.

And then today, as coordinator of clothing donations, I get a call from a volunteer organizing bedding for them. "The families say they are cold at night. They must be suffering from trauma, still, from the shelling and destruction. Can you round up some winter blankets for them?"

And here, too, the next call on my phone is from a Sara, liquidating her deceased mother's apartment. Sure, she can supply several winter blankets, bedding and towels. All I had to do was connect the two.

Maybe that's the message. Maybe we have to be connected, be attuned to the needs of one another, to be there in their need. As the novi says, "Is this the time to sit in your homes, sefunim, ensconed and comfortable, when this House is in ruins?"

If Hashem is, indeed, so Grois, we must stop being petty and self-centered and be there for our brothers and sisters.

Readers are welcome to FAX in their stories to Weinbach, 02- 5387998 or email to


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