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CHANUKAH 5770 YESHUOS 8

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Page 1: Yeshuos Chanukah 5770

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Page 2: Yeshuos Chanukah 5770

Table of Contents As always, reading Kupat Ha’ir’s yeshuos magazine is accompanied by a special sense of excitement.

Perhaps it’s the variety of unusual stories despite the fact that you were certain every type of yeshuah had already been covered. More likely, it’s that sense of “over and over again.” In other words, the yeshuos stories in the previous magazines were not isolated, one-time occurrences that happened to a few solitary individuals. Rather, they transpire over and over again to Yidden who know what to do in a tight spot: call out to Hashem and give tzedakah to boost your favor in His eyes.

We are fortunate to live in a generation that has merited an organization like Kupat Ha’ir, which, in addition to doing chessed with the needy, assists the rest of Klal Yisrael as well, during difficult moments.

Some of the articles in the previous brochure and in this one, too, bear astonishing titles: I Did Not Contribute – and I Merited A Yeshua; I Contributed But Did Not Merit a Yeshuah; I Merited A Yeshuah Because I Did Not Contribute. These titles cause us all to ask in amazement:

Can it be that someone contributed but did not see a yeshuah? Can it be that someone merited a yeshuah because he did not contribute? And why is Kupat Ha’ir publicizing “I Did Not Contribute – and I Merited A Yeshuah” stories?

Well, it is definitely possible to contribute and yet not merit a yeshuah. It’s happened in the past and it will happen many times in the future, too. Why? We don’t know Hashem’s reasons for the way He runs His world. Contributing to Kupat Ha’ir is not a magic charm or a way to circumvent Hashem, chalilah. We contribute because that’s the best form of hishtadlus possible. After that, the matter is up to Hashem. Perhaps the yeshuah we’re asking for is not really in our best interests. Perhaps we don’t deserve it despite the contribution. Perhaps there are other reasons. We do our part and Hashem does His. There is no doubt, however, that we are better off after contributing than we were before. Still, this explanation not withstanding, you’re in for a surprising read under the “I Contributed But Did Not see a Yeshuah” title and all the other titles, too. Enjoy!

Happy ChanukahFrom the Kupat Ha’ir Family

pg. 3

pg. 16

pg. 8

pg. 11

pg. 14

pg. 18

pg. 21

I Contributed But Did Not See a Yeshuah

I Received a Yeshuah Because I Didn’t Contribute!

Illumination from Heaven

Returned in Full

The Repairman

Direct Delivery

A Tale of Two Vaccines

To hear the story firsthand call:..............................................................011-972-50-4188826

To hear the story firsthand call:..............................................................011-972-3-5792890

To hear the story firsthand call: .............................................................011-972-52-7670734

This story can be heard firsthand call: .............................................................011-972-52-7121420

To hear this story firsthand, call:............................................................. 011-972-3-5786568

To hear the story firsthand call:............................................................. 011-972-52-7670734

You can hear this story firsthand call:.............................................................. 011-972-3-5705530

American Friends of Kupat Ha'ir4415 14th Avenue

Brooklyn, NY 11219

1-866-221-9352

Page 3: Yeshuos Chanukah 5770

I Contributed But Did Not See a Yeshuah To hear the story firsthand after 22:00 call: 011-972-50-4188826

Rabbi S is the principal of a successful private cheder in a chareidi city in Eretz Yisrael. As the manager of an institution, he must travel abroad rather frequently to raise funds. Many people envy principals for the power and influence they wield on others, for their ability to decide the fate of children and their families by agreeing or refusing to allow a child to join their school. Very few people consider the tremendous amount of effort that the principal’s self-confident demeanor belies. They know nothing of the deliberations, the difficulties, the awesome burden of responsibility weighing on his shoulders. They cannot begin to imagine the difficulty of coming up with the cash to distribute dozens of salaries each month. How many of those envious people know about the many long hours he spends crammed into an airplane seat? How many of them appreciate the exile he imposes on himself from time to time, the time spent away from his family, the humiliation he suffers, the feeling of disappointment when, after “spitting blood,” he returns home with less, always less, than he had hoped to raise?

Rabbi S never indulges in a business class ticket. The money for his tickets comes from the contributions he receives; how can he

waste that money on something not absolutely essential? His wife sees the matter differently. “What’s so terrible if you’ll be slightly more comfortable throughout the long flight? It can only be good for the cheder if you feel better at the end of the flight.” But he just can’t bring himself to fritter away the difference in price.

Sometimes, when he leaves and returns within the same week, which requires the purchase of an expensive ticket (a trip abroad that does not include an over-the-weekend stay is considered a business flight and is more expensive), he can receive a business class ticket for a nominal additional fee. But he doesn’t do even that. Din perutah kedin mei’ah and even a small sum is too much for him. However, when he has such an expensive ticket, he tries his luck and

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asks to be upgraded to business class. Sometimes, it works. A frequent flier like himself is entitled to certain privileges. The difference in price is so small that sometimes the airline is glad of the opportunity to ease the crowding in economy class and transfer customers like him to business class, which is usually half empty.

Once, after a long and tiring trip in economy class, Rabbi S felt he couldn’t handle more. He was moving on in years and the strain was proving too difficult. When he was abroad, he felt the need to make use of every minute of his stay; when he returned to Eretz Yisrael, he had to attend immediately to the never-ending pressures of his job as a principal. He felt as though his life was a merry-go-round whirling around at top speed and he couldn’t get off just for a moment to catch his breath. He had to ease some of the strain on himself. He had to. He recalled what his wife had been telling him all these years, her dire predictions of what would happen if he kept on working himself to the bone. She was right: the sophisticated machine that took him everywhere was beginning to show definite signs of wear and tear. His back, his shoulders, his head – nothing was the way it used to be. Flying affected him adversely, there was no doubt about that. With a sense of resignation, he decided to be a “good boy” and purchase a business class ticket the next time he flew.

Before his next flight, Rabbi S faced the same conflict as usual, only this time, the voices urging him to fly business class were stronger than ever. Should he

give in to his previous decision and pay for such a luxury when he was barely eking out a living for his family? He couldn’t do it. Should he purchase an economy ticket as usual and then waste precious time recuperating? Unwise. Give up on the flight altogether? Out of the question.

Rabbi S felt the internal battle depleting his final reserves of strength. What was the right thing to do? Since he was planning to remain abroad over a weekend, he couldn’t even hope for an upgrade to a business class ticket.

In the end, he decided to contribute NIS 180 to tzedakah and daven to Hashem to help him have a seat in business class without paying an additional fee. True, he had a cheap ticket, but that wouldn’t make any difference to Hashem. If Hashem decided to answer his prayer, even the cheap ticket would be upgraded. That would be the best possible solution, but since it was a miracle-solution, one he could not expect to occur naturally, a contribution to Kupat Ha’ir was the best way to achieve it.

At the airport, Rabbi S asked to upgrade his ticket to business class.

“Sir, this is a low-priced ticket,” the clerk replied, as expected. “Such tickets are never upgraded.”

“Still, please try,” Rabbi S said confidently.

The clerk shrugged and typed in the code for an upgrade request. Sometimes confirmation comes through immediately; sometimes it takes a little while. Rabbi S waited patiently on the side. The moments ticked by. Time was running out.

Rabbi S was disappointed. He’d placed too much trust

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in his contribution. Every few minutes, he looked at the clerk questioningly, only to see her shake her head and spread her hands in the classic “I told you so” gesture. His request had not been approved.

Rabbi S went to board the plane. He tried to feed his ticket through the machine but it was not accepted. He showed it to the clerk to find out what the problem was. She glanced at the computer and exclaimed, her eyes wide with surprise, “Sir, your request has just been approved! You need to go the line for business class!”

With an effort, Rabbi S refrained from showing his pleasure in public. His completely illogical request had been approved. He was flying business class! Baruch Hashem! The trip was much easier for him. Rabbi S managed to work and get some sleep. He disembarked feeling much better than usual. His body didn’t ache. This was the way it should be.

When the time came to plan his next trip, and the internal battle was about to begin again, Rabbi S knew what to do. He contributed to Kupat Ha’ir and added a brief, pleading prayer. He couldn’t bring himself to spend money earmarked for tzedakah on an expensive ticket but he couldn’t handle a long flight in economy class, either. What was he asking for? Just a little bit of siyata dishmaya, that was all.

The clerk didn’t give his request – he had a cheap ticket again – even one percent chance of being approved, but she typed the appropriate code into the computer as he asked. No response arrived. When it was time to board, Rabbi S fed his ticket into the machine and waited for it to be ejected.

No such luck! The ticket was processed smoothly.

So it didn’t work this time, Rabbi S thought to himself. Deep down, he had known such a possibility existed, of course, but he had preferred to feel that he was heading for a sure miracle. Biting his lip in frustration, he went to his seat, which turned out to be sandwiched between two others. It doesn’t get any more uncomfortable than this, he thought worriedly. His traveling companions were uncouth in appearance and speech. In between ravenous bites of tuna sandwiches, they discussed their plans for the flight. Rabbi S. felt his insides churn. Wasn’t it bad enough that he had to fly economy class; did

he have to be seated between these two? He rose and took a walk to the kitchen, trying to escape the overwhelming smell of tuna and get a grip on his disappointment.

When he returned to his place moments before takeoff, he found someone seated in his place.

“Excuse me sir, this is my seat.”

“No, sir, it isn’t. This is my place.”

Rabbi S withdrew his ticket and showed the man, black on white, that the seat in question was his.

To his surprise, the fellow withdrew his ticket with equal confidence. Both tickets bore the same seat number!

They quickly alerted a steward and showed him the problem. It was almost time for takeoff and the flight was very full. The steward referred the problem to a higher-ranking member of the flight crew. A few moments later, Rabbi S was told that his ticket had been upgraded and would he please switch to business class.

At this point, the plane was already on the runway. Now it had to retrace its path and reconnect to the ramp. Accompanied by the astonished looks on the faces of all the passengers on the plane, Rabbi S disembarked in order to re-board on business class.

You don’t have enough emunah, Rabbi S berated himself as he settled into his comfortable seat in business class. For the Ribono shel Olam, delaying the plane and making it return to the ramp in order to get you into business class is no big deal. The only problem is that you’re spoiled; you have no patience to wait for Him to work His miracles.

He accepted his own admonishment and made some firm resolutions for the future.

“Contributing to Kupat Ha’ir really yields results,” he told everyone he met over the next few weeks. That was one of his resolutions – to publicize his story. Pirsumei nisa is a mitzvah in its own right. He had no idea what was yet in store for him.

It wasn’t long before Rabbi S had to fly abroad again. Before leaving to the airport, he made a contribution to Kupat Ha’ir and girded himself with an extra measure of bitachon. This time, too, he’d make it onto

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business class one way or another. He felt as calm as if he had a business class ticket in his pocket. He didn’t forget to daven, of course, making sure to “apologize” for his lack of emunah the previous time and once again reminding himself of his resolutions.

This time, though, as if to test the strength of his emunah, nothing happened.

The clerk typed in the code for an upgrade as he requested but the machine in the boarding area accepted his ticket without ado. His request was not approved. Rabbi S found himself in economy class, wedged into an uncomfortable seat but he wasn’t worried. Any minute someone would come along and demand his seat. Maybe they’d announce his name over the PA system; maybe the pilot himself would show up and personally accompany him to business class – something had to happen. He’d contributed to Kupat Ha’ir, after all, and offered up a brief prayer to the Master of the World. But nothing was happening! Rabbi S refused to despair. The plane wasn’t in the air yet. Anything could still happen.

But the plane took off, completely oblivious to Rabbi S’s unfulfilled expectations, placing Rabbi S in an emotional turmoil. He felt anger rising up inside him. Anger at whom? He couldn’t tell, at first.

Anger at the airline? They didn’t owe him a thing! He had purchased a cheap ticket, one he knew was not eligible for an upgrade. What did he want from them?

Anger at Kupat Ha’ir? Kupat Ha’ir had never promised its contributors a yeshuah. Yeshuos come from Hashem only and no one can promise things in His Name. Rabbi S was no fool; he knew that tefillos are not always accepted. Sometimes, they’re not accepted at all, as when a person is wearing sha’atnez. Sometimes they’re accepted but not answered for the person’s own good and sometimes they’re answered in a way the person himself doesn’t realize. Hakadosh Baruch Hu is King of the world and He, in His incomprehensible wisdom, arranges events. Who was there to be angry at, then?

Rabbi S realized that he was angry at himself. Why had he been so gullible? Why had he so shallowly thought that just because he’d twice been lucky after making a contribution to Kupat Ha’ir, he was guaranteed to be lucky the third time around, too? He had no answer.

He felt scornful. Scornful of himself, of his shallow childishness. What’s gotten into you? Did you think the contribution “works” on its own? Chas veshalom. That was tantamount to kefirah, apostasy. Contributions have no supernatural powers, he knew. They merely increase love and fondness between Am Yisrael and their Father in Heaven.

But why did you feel such a sense of confidence? Where are your values; where are your principles; where is

your logic? Scorn.

You very conveniently channeled your emunah and bitachon according to the results you wanted and you were foolish enough to think that you really believed. If you really believe in

Hashem, allow him to run the world the way He sees fit. If He wants to accept your request,

He will, and if He does not, He won’t. What do you understand of the way Hashem runs His world?

After scorn, Rabbi S felt frustration. If you thought you needed to fly business class for your

health, why did you buy an economy class ticket? Why were you so stingy? Why couldn’t you view

the situation from a broader point of view? You’re not a baby. You’re the principal of a cheder and a lot of

responsibility lies on your shoulders.

Frustration was followed by exhaustion, both internal and external, accompanied by regret. He

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should have been smarter. Next came self pity. He had twelve hours of flight time ahead of him. Many thoughts passed through his mind during those twelve hours. He conducted lots of mental negotiations with himself, all the while willing the flight to just be over already.

When the plane finally landed, Rabbi S rose along with all the other passengers and prepared to disembark. Suddenly, a distinguished-looking gentleman with a short, silvery beard approached him. Rabbi S, his experience honed by years of fundraising, immediately pegged him as a wealthy man.

“You’re Rabbi S, aren’t you?” the stranger asked in Hebrew, his American accent unmistakable.

“That’s right,” Rabbi S replied in surprised. He didn’t know the gentleman; he was sure of that. He had a good memory for faces and he was certain he’d never set eyes on the man before.

“My grandson attends your cheder,” the stranger said as they waited to disembark. “It’s been six years now. I often receive letters from you asking me to contribute, but I’ve never actually done so. Shall I tell you why?”

Rabbi S recognized the gentleman’s grandson’s name immediately. He knew the grandfather to be a very wealthy person. He had always been disappointed at the lack of response to his repeated letters. If wealthy grandparents refuse to support their grandchildren’s schools, who would? At some point, though, he had stopped placing his trust in man. It is a privilege to give. Not everyone merits that privilege.

“I’ll tell you why,” the gentleman went on. “I never contribute blindly. I work hard for my money and baruch Hashem, I do well. But I don’t like to give it away to people looking for an easy ride. You might not agree with my approach, I know,” he added at the sight of Rabbi S’s face, “but that’s the way I feel.”

“When I received your first letter, I wanted to contribute,” the wealthy grandparent continued. “After all, my grandson attends your cheder. I felt I owed you a debt of gratitude. I made some inquiries and was told that you often fly abroad. Someone mentioned that you fly business class. That didn’t sit well with me. Do you understand? I can afford to fly

business class but I don’t because I feel it’s a waste of money. The idea that the principal of a cheder would take money I contributed and fritter it away on an expensive airline ticket irked me terribly. That’s why I didn’t contribute and that’s why I completely ignored your letters whenever I received them.

“But now,” the man went on, pausing for a moment to build suspense, “I see that what I heard is not true. You fly economy class. My grandson has been attending your cheder for six years: I want to give you a donation for all those years right now.” He withdrew a checkbook and an elegant pen and quickly filled out a check. He tore out the check and stuck it into Rabbi S’s hand.

“My grandson’s very pleased,” he concluded. “Thank you very much and best wishes for continued success.” And with that, he was gone, not waiting for a thank-you of any sort.

Rabbi S stood there, check in hand. He was afraid to open it. How much was it for? A hundred and eighty dollars, as befit a wealthy but frugal businessman who never flew business class even though he could well afford it? A thousand eight hundred, because after all, this was a donation for six years? Eighteen thousand, because that was what he was hoping for? How much?

With a folded check in one’s hand, hopes can reach sky-high. In a moment he’d open it and his bubble of hope would burst.

Rabbi S felt like a little boy who couldn’t bear the thought of disappointment. He knew he was indulging in fantasy – but it was oh, so hard to snap out of it.

Berating himself for his foolishness, he opened the check. Sixty thousand dollars. Sixty thousand dollars for six years. Sixty thousand dollars.

It took Rabbi S a moment to digest what he was seeing.

Sixty thousand dollars!

And he would have lost it had his contribution to Kupat Ha’ir “been accepted” and his ticket upgraded!

I contributed and did not receive a yeshuah?

You decide!

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Illumination from Heaven

“I can’t believe the big day is actually here,” declared Tzipora, the oldest. “Believe me, I don’t know how Abba and Ima go through such tension with each of us kids.” She flopped into the first chair she saw, trying to ease the pressure on her aching legs. A moment later, she was up and about again, greeting guests, escorting them to a table and just making sure everything was running smoothly. The chuppah had just finished and her mother was lingering downstairs with a few guests who had arrived for the chuppah only. Tzipora felt responsible to act as her mother’s assistant hostess.

Tzipora still had a hard time believing that her kid brother Yossi was actually a chassan. Who would have believed it? She still thought of him as a wild Indian, a kid full of mischief and energy who managed to be everywhere at once. She knew, of course, that Yossi had matured into a very different type of bachur; he had a reputation as a fine learner with a heart of gold. Still, in her mind he was still a boy. And now he had a kallah… Chani made a wonderful impression – sweet, refined, and pleasant. Her family, too, seemed equally wonderful. Baruch Hashem. There was another guest arriving…

Amid exclamations of mazal tov and a flurry of embraces, the guest stuck a gift in Tzipora’s hand and asked her to help her find her mother.

“She’s still downstairs,” Tzipora said, steering the guest to a table with her mother’s friends. “Why don’t you have a seat?” she suggested. “look, there’s –

Boom.

The lights went out.

What was going on? Tzipora raised her eyes to the ceiling, as if the answer was written there. All the many bulbs had gone dark; there was not the slightest spark of light anywhere. The sudden hush told Tziporah that the band could no longer play, either.

“Looks like they want to re-do the chuppah,” joked one of the kallah’s sisters. There were a few titters.

Over on the men’s side, someone began a slow kumsitz tune, but his effort soon fizzled out. Kumsitzes are nice around a midnight campfire, not at a wedding.

Tzipora hurried out of the hall to the office. She found the manager standing in front of the open fuse box, scratching his head helplessly. He was just as bewildered as she.

“I don’t see where the problem is,” he was saying. “All the halls have gone dark. Such a thing has never happened before!”

“You’re taking care of it, right?” Tzipora asked, making sure.

“What do you think? If this doesn’t resolve itself quickly, I’m out of business,” the manager replied tensely. Tzipora moved out of the way. Her family was worrying about one hall; the manager had a few halls to worry about.

She ran back to the hall. Toby, her younger sister, was rekindling the candles that had been used at the chuppah. A crowd of little girls buzzed around her, enjoying the excitement. Tzipora made the rounds of the hall, trying to make sure everyone was okay.

To hear the story firsthand after 22:00 call: 011-972-52-7670734

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At first, people waited patiently, sure the lights would go back on again momentarily. As the moments ticked by and the hall remained shrouded in darkness, however, people began asking questions.

“Did you try calling the owner of the hall?”

“Has someone called an electrician?”

“I have a top electrician, a truly talented man. You ought to call him. Tell him you’re in middle of a wedding and he’ll fly right over on his motorcycle. Within ten minutes, everyone will have forgotten there was a blackout.”

“Oy, today’s generation. Once you pay someone, you can forget about service.”

Tzipora had neither the time nor patience to listen to everyone’s reactions. Thank G-d her mother was still downstairs. At least she was spared the need to greet guests in the darkness.

The moments ticked by.

It was so awfully unpleasant. There was no music, no photographer, no light in the bathrooms. The hall was almost completely pitch-black – they’d had the bad luck to rent the basement hall. The air-conditioning wasn’t working, either, and the air was getting stuffier with each passing moment.

“Why are you thinking about yourself?” Toby asked her. “Think about the chassan and kallah!”

Well, she hadn’t exactly been thinking about herself, but it was true that she’d forgotten to think about the chassan and kallah. They were in the yichud room, the poor things. Maybe someone had lit candles for them. She hoped so. A sudden blackout could definitely put a damper even on such once-in-a-lifetime moments.

Tzipora hurried out of the hall again. She was too edgy to stay in one place. The manager was still standing in front of the same fuse box. He had a cell phone to his ear and he was muttering angrily into it, flipping one switch after another as he spoke, to no avail. A small crowd of other angry people – the ba’alei simchah from the other halls

– had gathered around him.

“You don’t even have emergency lighting,” one of them shouted. “That’s a criminal offense!”

The manager’s neck turned beet-red.

“He doesn’t have a worker handy. He has no instructions for what to do in such a case. Nothing. We paid good money to rent our hall and we’re getting rotten service, another grumbled.

“Sir, would you please come apologize to my guests? I invited a number of distinguished rabbanim and I’m terribly ashamed to receive them.”

Tzipora left again. She couldn’t judge the people; she herself felt the same way. Still, it was not her way to let her tongue wag. It wouldn’t accomplish anything in any case.

She walked slowly back to the hall. She, too, felt she couldn’t face her guests. Her mother was back in the hall already, trying her best to deal with the unpleasant situation with grace. No one was cracking jokes anymore. The candles had burned all the way down already. What kind of wedding would Yossi have? Twenty years from now, he’d laugh at the pressure she was under at his wedding but somehow, that was scarce comfort now.

Devorah, a close friend, found her sitting in

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a corner. Even in the

dark, Devorah could see that

she was close to tears.

“How about contributing to

Kupat Ha’ir?”

Tzipora shrugged. “Kupat Ha’ir is a great

solution for people whom it really helps. I don’t

know what to tell you. I’ve tried a few times and it never

worked for me. I always ended up contributing in any case,

even though I stipulated that the contribution was contingent on a

yeshuah. I must be from a different breed. These things don’t work for me.”

“But what does it hurt to try? If it doesn’t work, you won’t contribute but at least you’ll know you tried. You can’t play with the wires, right? The electricity’s been off for more than half an hour already and it doesn’t look like anyone knows what to do about the problem. At least try the one thing you can do.

“Okay, I’ll try.” It was obvious from Tzipora’s voice that she didn’t expect the segulah to work. She stepped aside, feeling the need for privacy.

Suddenly, she found herself praying from the very bottom of her heart. In a split second, a bridge sprang up directly from her to her Father in heaven and she felt closer to Him than she’d felt in a long,

long time.

“If the electricity comes back fast,” she said, “I’ll contribute eighteen shekels to Kupat Ha’ir. Whatever Hashem does is for the best, but if Hashem wants us to beseech Him and find favor in His eyes by giving tzedakah, that is what I’m doing.”

She looked up, her eyes moist. Devorah, with typical sensitivity, had moved aside. A sense of inexplicable anticipation welled up inside Tzipora. You don’t give it half a chance, remember? These things don’t work for you. You contributed just because that was the only thing you could do to try and help.

She waited for the lights to go on.

Despite everything she had said only moments earlier, deep, deep down, she knew the lights would go on.

And they did. To her, it seemed like the miracle came in the blink of an eye. Later she realized that it had in fact taken two minutes.

The lights came back all at once, illuminating the crestfallen faces of the machateinestas, the friends and the many guests. Within minutes, the tension and unpleasantness was forgotten as the hall filled with joy. The band played for all it was worth; the photographer snapped photo after photo. It seemed everyone was eager to make up for the fiasco with an extra measure of liveliness.

“It worked,” Devorah whispered to Tzipora, her eyes shining.

“Yes,” Tzipora replied. “You know, in addition to the fact that the wedding went back on track, I earned a precious moment of true, pure prayer. I sensed that my tefillah was forging its way heavenward and I sensed that it was being heard. I felt Hashem’s mercy enveloping me. Only someone who has experienced a moment liket this can understand what I mean.”

Baruch Hashem, she, too, is from the “breed’ for whom “these things” work. And she is so pleased to belong!

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Returned in FullThis story can be heard firsthand between 20:00 - 23:00 call: 011-972-52-7121420.52-7121420.

Zev stood thunderstruck with the receiver in hand. In his darkest dreams he had never anticipated a phone call as terrible as the one he'd just received. He tried to hide his shaking hands as he murmured something and left the house, with the note he'd manage to scribble between his fingers. He headed for the home of his good friend, an older and more experienced man who might be able to extricate him from the tangled web in which he found himself.

All he had done was purchase a new Haggadah shel Pesach and two new siddurim in honor of Yom Tov. What was so terrible about that? He was a careful avreich; he never made any rash purchases, never spent money he didn't have.

Never? Not quite.

The sefarim he had purchased didn't quite fit into that category. He had relied on the assumption that his Rosh Kollel would give him a bonus for Yom Tov when in fact there was none. The check he had given the bookstore had been cashed against a completely empty bank account.

To his dismay, the store owner had given the check to a company that deals with checks. From there, the check had reached the thug who had just called. Zev shuddered. Just the memory of the man's voice made him shiver with dread.

"You will immediately bring

NIS 2,000 to the address I give you. Otherwise I shall remove NIS 5,000 from your account," he'd threatened menacingly.

Two thousand shekels? Five thousand shekels? How had he gotten into such a mess? But the worst thing was being in the thug's grip. He had a wife and small children. Their safety was paramount.

He'd scribbled down the address and left the house.

"It doesn't look good," his friend said. A few telephone calls yielded the information that the address belonged to a seedy restaurant on a Tel Aviv beachfront. The restaurant was known as a joint haunted by unsavory types.

Zev felt he simply couldn't go there himself. His heart would explode with fear before he even took a step inside. He found a messenger who was familiar with the place and its significance. He borrowed money from a friend and gave it to the m e s s e n g e r

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to make the payment in his place. They wouldn't hurt the messenger, he

knew.

But the messenger did not succeed in fulfilling his mission. The woman behind the counter at the restaurant had been furious. She'd cursed and shouted, insisting she had never heard the name before and knew nothing of the matter. She didn't have the check to return to the messenger in exchange for the money and no one had told her to expect someone. Who had fed the messenger such a pack of lies and why didn't the person come himself; the owner wasn't in the country and…

The messenger had picked up and fled.

The following day, Zev went to the bank. He told the clerk the story and asked him to find out who had tried to cash the check.

"It's the underworld," the clerk told him, his eyes filled with pity. "The police steer clear of them; they're afraid of them! The bank cannot help you. In fact, no one can help you. Pray to the Master of the World to have mercy on you."

Zev felt dizzy. Black and white circles danced before his eyes.

"You should at least know what to expect. When you come to them, the first thing they will do is beat you to an inch of your life. Then they'll strip you of any money on your person. And don't expect to get the check back. They'll want to hold on to it to continue sucking your blood to the bitter end."

Zev left the bank with a faltering step.

What should he do now? To whom should he turn? Where should he go?

He approached various askanim. They all turned him away, shrugging and saying they didn't know how to help him. Zev had a strong feeling that they didn't want

to touch his case, the case that had become his life.

Suddenly, it occurred to him to contribute to Kupat Ha'ir. He met a fellow kollel avreich and told him the story. He asked him how much he thought he ought to contribute.

"To merit a yeshuah beyond drech hateva, you need to contribute beyond derech hateva," his friend advised, quoting what he had read in a previous yeshuos magazine.

"How much? You think I ought to promise two hundred shekels? Where will I find the money, with this tzarah on my head?"

"It's your heart Hashem wants," his friend replied. "You barely bring home enough money to buy food for your family; how can you afford to contribute two hundred shekels? Even twenty shekels is enough, as long as you have the right intentions when you contribute."

Zev took his friend's advice. He contributed twenty shekels and felt suddenly much calmer.

I'm going to call them up and see what they say, he thought to himself. His fingers shook as he dialed the number of the seedy restaurant.

"Oh, it's you," said the woman who answered the phone. She sounded almost pleasant. "Yes, of course I know who you are. Why did that other guy come in here and drive me crazy? Come on down yourself, we'll talk things over and put this behind us."

Zev was terrified of a trap. He didn't dare go down there himself. He asked the messenger to go there

to makee the paymeent in histo touchh hh

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again, and he agreed.

The messenger took the money and was warned to bring back the problematic check. Zev recited chapter after chapter of Tehillim.

When the messenger arrived, he was greeted cordially. The owner (the thug himself) was there as well.

"Ah, I see we're dealing with a chareidi," he said to the surprised messenger. "Okay, give me a hundred shekels and you can have the check."

The check was placed on the table. The messenger could not believe his eyes.

"Take another twenty shekels," he urged the thug. "You must've been charged a fee when the check bounced."

"Nah, never mind," the thug replied – but the messenger set the bill on the table anyway, just to be on the safe side. It was best not to leave any possibilities open for a future lawsuit.

The messenger returned to Zev and gave back the money he had sent with him as well as the bounced check. All's well that ends well.

But that was not the end.

A few days later, Zev was traveling with his son in a taxi. His son required a few intravenous infusions and Zev was taking him for one of them. On the way, he told the driver the story from beginning to end.

The driver, completely fl a b b e r g a s t e d , stopped the taxi near a bus stop and inserted a twenty-shekel bill into a Kupat Ha'ir pushka, e x p l a i n i n g that he

was contributing so the child would have a refuah sheleimah. He continued exclaiming in amazement throughout the trip and in the end, when they arrived at Zev's destination, he refused to accept payment.

The trip should have cost him twenty shekels. He knew that from previous trips he had taken with his child. Now that the "savings" was connected to the story, he felt that Hashem was returning to him the twenty shekels he had given to the thug.

"I know, it sounds too good to be true, with all the loose ends so neatly tied up," Zev says with a smile. "It sounds like a story crafted by a master storyteller. But before the contribution, I felt like it was too awful to be true, like a horror story crafted by a master storyteller. What connection could I, a kollel avreich who practically never sets foot outside Bnei Brak, possibly have with a thug from the underworld?

"So that's it, in a nutshell: it depends at what point you join the story – before the contribution or after. The entire story is true; not a single detail has been embellished. If anyone doesn't believe it, he can call and ask."

Go right ahead.

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To hear this story firsthand, call 011-972-3-5786568.

The RepairmanErev Pesach. The house was in terrible disarray: wherever you looked there were rags, cleaning supplies and various sundry objects no one could decide where to put away. Not a single chair was free; not a single spot on the table was unoccupied.

Mrs. D was busy emptying everything in her fridge onto the table and counters. She removed the drawers and shelves and got to work scrubbing the interior of the fridge. Even exhausting jobs come to an end, fortunately, and hours later, with the chickens on the counter in danger of defrosting, Mrs. D spread newspapers on the clean shelves. Then she inserted the refrigerator plug into the socket and waited to hear the familiar hum of the fridge as it resumed working.

Silence.

Puzzled, Mrs. D removed the plug and inserted it again. The fridge sighed lightly – and that was it.

Mrs. D waited half an hour and tried again. No luck. Apparently, she'd scrubbed her fridge a bit too thoroughly in honor of the approaching holiday and the thermostat or the motor or whatever had been ruined.

She called a repairman. He was swamped with work and could only come the following day. In any case, it would cost her at least NIS 250 to fix the fridge.

Mrs. D was terribly upset. She could ill afford NIS 250 in addition to the regular erev Yom Tov expenses. She was beset by pangs of guilt. Why hadn't she been more careful?

The D family decided, as was its custom, to promise NIS 50 to Kupat Ha'ir if they wouldn't have to pay a repairman.

You think you can guess the end of this story. You're assuming that a moment before the repairman arrived, the fridge suddenly came back to life.

Don't jump to conclusions.

The chickens were completely defrosted by now. The Ds transferred their milk and cheese to a neighbor's fridge. The chaos in the kitchen was indescribable. The fridge still wasn't working. The Ds realized that they had no choice; they needed a repairman immediately. Apparently, their contribution to Kupat Ha'ir hadn't been effective this time.

The Ds soon discovered that not only did they not want a repairman, the repairmen didn't want them… everyone was busy. No one was available. Mrs. D's pleas regarding the chicken that would be ruined failed to impress the overwhelmed repairmen.

In the end, late at night, they found a repairman who was willing to have a look at their fridge. He arrived, unscrewed a few screws and examined the fridge. Every few minutes, he informed the family of another problem that needed to be fixed. The cost of repairing the fridge ballooned from the initial estimate of NIS 250 to NIS 400.

Mrs. D could not stop berating herself for having been so careless. The gloomy expression on her husband's face as he tried to figure out where to get the money from did not help matters. Neither of them could forget the commitment they'd made: If we won't have to pay a repairman, we'll contribute NIS 50 to Kupat Ha'ir. How laughable. How illogical. Kupat Ha'ir would lose out this time…

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The repairman unscrewed the thermostat and brought new parts from his car. He welded a new wire near the motor. He mentioned that he had in his car a shelf to replace the one that he saw was cracked. As he worked, the repairman chatted casually with Mr. D.

"How many children do you have?" he inquired.

"Seven," came the reply.

The repairman, a secular fellow, looked around him in surprise and listened to the silence. "Seven? You're kidding me."

"Come, take a look," Mr. D offered, pointing to the children's room. The repairman peeked into the room, where seven children were sleeping peacefully. He noted the bunk bed, with its two pull-out trundles reaching from wall to wall and the crib and Porta-crib, both occupied.

He returned to the kitchen with a look of shock on his face. "If that's the case," he said, snapping the plastic piece protecting the thermostat into place, "this repair is free."

The Ds looked at him in confusion.

"I'm not charging you for this job," the repairman explained.

Thoroughly taken aback by the strange events playing themselves out in his kitchen, Mr. D tried to murmur his gratitude.

The man collected his tools and placed his hand in his pocket. "I have wealthy friends in Jaffa," he told the Ds. "They give me money to distribute to families who need it. You have small children. Take the money; use it to buy them food."

He withdrew NIS 250, precisely

the sum the couple had originally thought they'd have to pay a repairman, and pressed it into Mr. D's hand. Then he picked up his toolbox and left.

The kitchen was silent. Only the pleasant hum of the fridge testified to the miracle that had just transpired. The couple stared at the bills they'd received from the repairman who had fixed their fridge. Both of them recalled exactly how they had phrased their commitment to Kupat Ha'ir: "If we won't have to pay a repairman, we'll contribute fifty shekels to Kupat Ha'ir."

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I Received a Yeshuah

Because I Didn’t Contribute!

To hear the story firsthand after 21:00 call: 011-972-3-5792890

The title of this story is rather provocative, I know. It’s not exactly accurate, but it’s not far from the truth. Listen to my story and decide for yourselves:

A long time ago, I adopted a steady custom: every time I wait for a bus and

every time I disembark from one, I

approach the pushka affixed to the bus shelter and

contribute to Kupat Ha’ir. How m u c h ? H o w e v e r much I decide to

c o n t r i b u t e at that moment. I’m

not a wealthy person, to put it mildly. Like most avreichim, I live quite frugally, but one car

accident or a one-time involvement in a terrorist attack, G-d forbid, is liable to remove ten thousand times as much money from a person’s pocket as all the contributions he makes over a period of many years in order to be spared such tragedies. That’s without even taking into account the danger of losing one’s life or suffering pain and trauma. In short, I decided that even from a financial point of view, it “pays” to contribute before every bus ride in order to ask Hashem to protect me, and after every bus ride to thank Him for having made everything run smoothly.

I imagine that anyone who has ever ridden on a bus that was almost involved in a terrorist attack, or was miraculously prevented from boarding a bus that was in an attack most certainly understands me. And even if not –this is my custom. This is what I do, thank G-d.

One day, not long ago, I was traveling on an intercity bus. Before the trip, I had contributed as usual, making sure to whisper a pasuk or two for shemirah and recite a brief prayer (this is crucial to make sure my custom does not become mere habit, squeezed dry of pure intentions). The trip passed uneventfully and soon we had reached our destination.

I disembarked from the bus and looked for the metal pushka affixed to the bus shelter in order

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to contribute. I wanted to take my wallet out of my right pocket, where I always keep it – but it was gone! My pocket was empty. I stuck my hand quickly into my left pocket, but that one was empty as well. I tapped frantically on my suit pocket – no luck. The other suit pocket – empty. My inner, hidden pocket – nothing there. My wallet was gone!

In a flash of understanding, I realized that my wallet must have fallen out of my pocket while I was on the bus. How was I get to get hold of the bus now? It was an intercity bus; it would probably return to the city it had originated from after it completed its route and dropped off all the passengers aboard. What was I going to do? I had a day of errands ahead of me. My wallet contained a considerable sum of cash, my credit card, my checkbook, my keys… everything I needed. And the wallet was on the bus!

I wheeled around, hoping to see the tail end of the bus as it drove away. At least I’d know in which direction it was traveling. To my surprise, the bus was still at the bus stop! A woman was having a bit of trouble removing a baby carriage from the baggage c o m p a r t m e n t . There, she had it now and in another split second, the bus would close its doors and roar off. I ran forward and rapped on the closed door. The driver opened it for me and I explained rapidly that I had left my wallet on the bus. I boarded the bus, hurried to the

place I had been seated - and there was my wallet, waiting patiently for me!

Filled with joy, I disembarked from the bus and went to place my contribution into the Kupat Ha’ir pushka, just as I had originally intended. As I dropped the coin through the slot, it occurred to me: If I hadn’t approached the pushka to contribute, I wouldn’t have noticed that my wallet was missing! The bus would have continued along its route and I would have endured a super-frustrating day without being able to accomplish a thing. And who knows if I would have gotten my wallet back in the end…

It was precisely because I hadn’t managed to contribute that I discovered my loss in time (or had the bus been held up especially for me? I don’t claim to know Hashem’s ways).

And so, I didn’t contribute and I saw a yeshuah.

Isn’t that right?

fgee aggge nn thaadinn it s

from gage

t . d

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Direct Delivery“Abba, you remembered to take along the tickets, right?”

Yechiel couldn’t wait. He and his siblings had been waiting six months for this day. How many dreams he had woven; what high hopes he had. Today was the day Abba was taking all the children on a long-awaited trip!

No one accused him of being a nudnik for asking the same question fifty times. Everyone felt like doing the same thing, only they were too shy. Such big boys acting like enthusiastic little kids…. Abba smiled indulgently at nine-year-old Yechiel.

“Everything’s in order, Chilik. Would you like to hold onto the tickets, just to be on the safe side?”

“No, I don’t dare,” Yechiel replied. “I might lose them.” He just wanted to see them.

“Okay, bring me my suit and I’ll show them to you,” his father said agreeably. Today was the kids’ day. They’d been waiting for it a long time; it was okay for them to be overly excited. He knew the others could barely contain their excitement, either. It was a long way from their house to their destination. They had to take two busses, altogether too much bother for such impatient customers.

“Where’s your suit?” Chilik asked, shaking out the pile of suits for the second time. He could identify his father’s suit among a pile of others, but it wasn’t there. He was sure of it; it wasn’t there! The bus was half empty and his older brothers had heaped their suits on one seat and placed their hats on another. Chilik began to feel tense.

“Moishy, go help him,” Abba requested. He remembered from the time he was a boy how a terrific trip could be ruined by a few cynical wisecracks from older, smart-alec brothers. Kids

were sensitive creatures; you had to be considerate of them. It wasn’t enough to take them on a trip. You had to be sensitive to feelings of tension, apprehension, fear and any other emotion they might be experiencing.

“Abba, your suit really isn’t here!” Moishy exclaimed. He was older and surer of himself. “Maybe it’s next to you? Maybe you put it across your knees and it slipped onto the floor?”

The other passengers turned around to look at them. The driver glanced at his mirror. What was the ruckus all about?

All the brothers tackled the pile of suits on the seat. “Everyone should take his own suit, first of all,” Abba announced. Five pairs of hands reached forward and the seat was emptied in a flash. Abba was left standing in his white shirt.

Seven heads bent down to the floor of the bus. Seven disappointed heads popped back up nearly simultaneously. No suit.

“The baggage compartment?” one brother suggested.

No one had opened the baggage compartment. Still, at the next stop, one of the bachurim leaped down and checked. He returned empty-handed, as expected.

“How much was each ticket?” Chilik asked.

His brothers thanked him wordlessly. They knew the answer, and they knew there was no possibility of purchasing new ones. All the spots for that day had long ago been snatched up.

“We can’t buy new tickets, Yechiel,” his father said, looking very perturbed. He preferred to have his son know the facts in advance. “My wallet, my Visa

To hear the story firsthand after 22:00 call: 011-972-52-7670734To

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card, the house keys and a couple of important papers are all in my suit. I’m really in a pickle if I lost all those things, not to mention the suit itself. Let’s see what we can do to get them back.” He withdrew his cell phone from his pocket. It was a good thing he had that with him, at least.

It was clear that Abba had left the house with his suit. Apparently, it had been left behind when they’d switched busses. Abba dialed Egged’s Lost & Found department, where the clerk told him that no one had brought in a suit that day. It was possible that the bus had not yet reached the end of its route. One couldn’t expect to locate a lost item on a bus in middle of the day.

Moishy went to discuss the situation with the driver.

“He says we should stay on the bus until the final stop because there we might be able to find the first bus we traveled on, if it finished its rounds for the day,” Moishy reported. “He says it’s a long shot but maybe that’s better than nothing.”

It was better than nothing.

All at once, the passing scenery lost its appeal. The tickets were gone and the chances of locating them were poor. New tickets were out of the question. They were now traveling for a “maybe.” Chilik was near tears and his brothers, too, felt like crying. It was beneath their dignity to burst into sobs because of plans gone awry but the disappointment was so difficult to bear.

The chitchat and pleasant conversation they had been enjoying before all but stopped completely. Each of them was absorbed in his own thoughts, waiting for the trip to be over and preparing himself for the fact that very shortly, they’d simply board a bus traveling back in the direction of home. Goodbye dreams.

“How about we contribute to Kupat Ha’ir?” one of the bachurim asked.

Suddenly, everyone sprang to life. All at once, anticipation was rekindled in their hearts. Would they find the tickets or not? At least there was some action. If they found the tickets – great, what could be better? They’d enjoy themselves at their destination and have a great story to tell, too. And if they didn’t find them, well, that would be a terrible shame, but at least they’d have proof that not everyone who contributes finds what he’s looking for. It was a controversial topic and this time, they’d have what to say on the subject. Oh, yes, they’d have plenty to say. Their father saw the spark of interest in their eyes. He deliberated for a moment and then gave his agreement.

They contributed to Kupat Ha’ir.

“What now? We find the bus and the tickets are there?” Chilik asked.

“We don’t give eitzos (advice) to Hakadosh Baruch Hu,” Abba explained patiently. “He doesn’t need our ideas. We contributed in order to augment our merit in Shamayim. If Hashem wants, He’ll send us the tickets or enable us to find them. If not, He won’t. The contribution is not a hocus-pocus

magic charm. It

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just increases Hashem’s love for us, so that we’ll be more eligible for His Divine assistance.” The brothers listened with half an ear.

“The tzedakah organizations do make it sound like a magic charm,” one brother noted. “I contributed and I saw a yeshuah,” or something like that. It’s almost like a vending machine. You insert a contribution and out pops a yeshuah.” He accompanied his words with an appropriate gesture and everyone smiled.

“Tzedakah brochures are one thing and reality is another,” Abba explained once again. “Tzedakah is neither a vending machine nor an ATM machine. Hashem loves the mitzvah of tzedakah. When someone contributes and believes in the power of his contribution more than he believes in Hashem, he’s making the contribution his idol, G-d forbid. We contributed but we believe in Hashem and only Hashem. We believe in Him no matter what He decides to do to us, whether we see a yeshuah or not.”

“But we do hope Hashem will give us back the tickets, right?”

They all smiled again. If only they could all say what was on their minds the way Chilik could…

The bus stopped at a traffic light. In the other lane, directly parallel to their bus, another bus stopped as well. They didn’t even notice how familiar it looked.

Suddenly, the driver of the other bus stuck his head out the window and shouted to his friend and colleague, the driver of their bus: “Tell me, that religious family sitting on your bus – weren’t they on my bus earlier? I think they forgot something on my bus.”

All at once, they understood what was happening and ran forward.

Yes, without a doubt… this was the driver of the first bus!

“My father left his suit on your bus,” Moishy called out through the window. “Can you pull over to the side for a moment?”

Both busses stopped and Moishy leaped out at the speed of light. He crossed the street and raced over to the other bus.

“I just suddenly spotted you sitting there,” the driver said. “I have no idea how. All religious people always look identical to me. I never can tell you guys apart.”

“Thank you so much,” Moishy said, practically hugging the driver. In his hand was his father’s suit, and in the pocket was his wallet. In the wallet were the tickets!

“May Hashem bless you with the opportunity to do many mitzvos,” he wished the driver effusively. “You’ve made us all happier than you can ever imagine. May Hashem make you happy, too,” Moishy said sincerely as he leaped down the stairs. He crossed the street again, waving the suit with all his might as his brother watched with bated breath from the windows.

The driver waited for him along with his family and the other passengers, who had been following the drama closely. He boarded the bus, glowing like the sun on a summer’s day.

“The wallet, the money, the tickets – everything’s intact,” he reported, panting for breath. “It’s incredible. The driver said all religious people look alike to him. He can’t imagine how he recognized us.”

“We know!” Chilik cried, ecstatic. “We don’t give Hashem ideas… He has the best ideas of all! Would you have dreamed up such a solution?

“We just contribute to Kupat Hair and leave the rest up to Him.”

pppeniingg

the driver of the

s,” Moishy called pull over to the

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You can hear this story firsthand call: 011-972-3-5705530

A Tale of Two Vaccines

Bracha* was about to leave to the baby clinic with her baby. She knew what was on the agenda: an immunization shot. Necessary but decidedly unpleasant. Her heart beat a little bit faster than usual. The injection itself was far from pleasant, and the reaction was often far worse. She just wanted to put it behind her and forget the whole thing.

"Don't you think he looks a little pale?" her husband asked, placing a hand on his son's forehead.

"Pale?" Bracha echoed. "No, I don't think so. I think you're a bit worried, too, seeing things that don't exist. He's fine; he feels great. No excuses!" She left the house.

When she returned, the baby definitely looked peaked. A few hours later, he developed a familiar childhood disease. Now Bracha's mild concern became more pronounced. Everyone knows you're not supposed to vaccinate a sick child.

Bracha sat at her feverish baby's bedside, willing him to get well. One day passed and then another. Four days passed and the fever still wasn't down. She gave her baby acetaminophen every four hours, interspersed by occasional doses of ibuprofen. She gave him tepid baths. Nothing helped. The child burned with fever. A full week passed and the mercury was still climbing to the top of the thermometer. A week and a half. The child was miserable and his parents were exhausted. Bracha, bleary-eyed, was filled with remorse.

"A vaccination for a sick baby," sighed the doctor, an experienced, elderly man. "It's to be expected.

This particular vaccine is not easy even for healthy children. Let's wait another two days. If the fever isn't down by then, we'll have to take some unpleasant steps."

"L-like what?" Bracha felt fear surge up inside her, threatening to overwhelm her.

The doctor preferred not to reply. "Let's hope the fever will go down and we won't have to do anything."

Bracha went home, fear and worry painting nightmarish scenes in her mind.

"You know what?" her husband said, equally concerned. "Let's contribute to Kupat Ha'ir. Maybe Hashem will take pity and the fever will go down."

The fever went down. Immediately, that same day. The doctor was pleased. Two full weeks of fever concluded with a happy, bubbly child, albeit a bit weak.

"What a pity we didn't contribute earlier," Bracha said with a sigh. "Why did the child have to suffer? What a shame."

A year passed.

Bracha was about to leave to the baby clinic again, this time with a younger baby.

"Tell me if he looks okay to you," she said to her husband for the umpteenth time. "I'm so afraid. I'm still traumatized by what happened last year."

"Which vaccine is he getting today?"

"He's supposed to get two. One for hepatitis – that

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one usually doesn't cause a reaction. Sometimes there are symptoms between the third and fifth day after the shot, they tend to be mild. The second vaccine is the MMR, the same awful one from last year. Symptoms are quite common; they show up somewhere between five and twelve days after the vaccine." She didn't bother explaining what the symptoms were; she knew that he knew. It wasn't easy to forget those two weeks they'd gone through with their older child.

"So let's contribute to Kupat Ha'ir again," her husband suggested. "We'll contribute and daven that the vaccine should pass smoothly, without any symptoms. Why wait for the fever to start and send us running to the doctor?"

She loved the idea. She placed a few coins in the pushka and davened that the vaccine blow over smoothly.

"Does he look perfectly h e a l t h y

to you?" she asked the nurse for the third time. "You know, my older child was sick when he got this vaccine and we went through a nightmarish two weeks."

"He looks fine to me," the nurse smiled. She was familiar with scaredy-cat moms. She prepared both vaccines and administered them expertly. The baby cried a bit, but that was all.

"Do you remember the instructions?" the nurse asked, reluctant to rely on the mother's memory from the previous year. "The first vaccine will probably pass without any symptoms but be on the lookout two days from now to make sure everything's okay. The second vaccine can cause fever – even high fever. Make sure to –"

Bracha wasn't really listening. She'd contributed to Kupat Ha'ir, after all. She'd be spared the nightmare this time.

Two days passed. The third day dawned with inconsolable crying and high fever. Bracha

realized that the baby was suffering from the side effects of the first vaccine. If this is how he's reacting to the "easy" vaccine, what's going

to happen when he reacts to the MMR – clearly the tougher of the

two vaccines? Her heart plummeted.

Two days passed and the fever went down.

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In Conclusion"We contributed and merited a yeshuah; we did not contribute and yet we merited a yeshuah…"

As long as the yeshuah came in the end, you're thinking to yourself with a smile as you close this brochure. It's a shame people don't have more ideas for ways to play around with the words "We contributed and merited a yeshuah" – that way, maybe the magazine would be a few pages thicker.

But the truth is that the other stories are no less fascinating.

Even if you've never been a skeptic; even if you've always believed that Hashem Himself gave us the mitzvah of tzedakah as a means to merit yeshuos – even then, the stories are beautiful, touching, and cause for joy, for they underscore how lucky we are to be so close to Hashem, to feel His love accompanying us every moment of our lives.

Even without looking for "action" as a result of each and every contribution; even without timing how long it took for a yeshuah occur; even without comparing Organization X or Committee Y – reading this brochure can afford you great pleasure and joy that you have the merit of giving.

And maybe – maybe even more than that.

There is no pleasure greater than truly trusting Hashem, lifting one's eyes heavenward and thanking Him for the merit of being in a position to contribute, for having the opportunity to contribute, and for the yeshuah that comes as a result of the contribution.

And that supreme pleasure can only be enhanced when you read a brochure like this one from cover to cover on Chanukah and rejoice with the Yidden who merited such wonderful yeshuos – even if you've so far merited "only" regular yeshuos, the kind that happen in every home. These "small" yeshuos, following small but steady contributions are no less wonderful, for they give us the merit of experiencing miracles as routine rather than breathtaking moments of drama.

Happy ChanukahAnd may we continue

to hear yeshuos.

One down, she thought with a

modicum of relief, bracing herself for

what was still to come. This time, we

didn't merit having our contribution

prevent a reaction… what can you

do? Not always does everyone merit

a yeshuah. You've got to daven and

purify your heart; the contribution

is just one part of a whole. Maybe I

placed too much trust in it.

She shared her thoughts with her

husband, who listened attentively.

"You know," he said after a moment's

thought, "the truth is that we didn't

contribute for the easy vaccine at all.

We thought the hepatitis vaccine was

“nothing”. We definitely had the MMR

in mind when we contributed."

"Okay, then, let's wait and see," she

replied hopefully. Would the merit

of their contribution to Kupat Ha'ir

alleviate the symptoms of the tough

vaccine?

She waited a day, two days, a full week.

It was as if her son had never received

the MMR shot.

"That's strange," the pediatrician

commented. "Kids who are so sensitive

that they react to the hepatitis vaccine

usually react even more strongly to

the MMR. This kid goes against the

rules!"

"A contribution to Kupat Ha'ir changes

the way things normally work," she

replied. "It's incredible but true. There's

no other possible explanation."

page 23 story supplement CHANUKAH 5770

Page 24: Yeshuos Chanukah 5770

The Tzedakah Of The Gedolei Hador

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