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Will You Merit to Donate?
“But the money…״ she says in a voice broken by seven years of suffering, seven years whose passing days and months have etched deep lines of sorrow into her heart.
“And the money to buy what we need for Shabbos, for Yom Tov…״ his tone rises. This Yom Tov, they won׳t be going to her parents, or his, as they often do. No – they׳ll be at home, and they have nothing with which to honor the festival…
“I know, but even so, it׳s a segulah – Rav Chaim Palagi – can we really afford not to – can you really bear the thought of waiting another year – an entire year?״ Her tears start to fall. “We have challos in the freezer, we׳ll work something out. But who needs food, anyway? I need a child – a child!״
“I still think that Hashem wants something different from us,״ he looks down at the blue-checked tablecloth, addressing it as if it were a shtender in the beis medrash. “The segulah isn׳t k׳vod hachag. We are commanded to honor Yom Tov – to honor Hashem…״
“So, maybe they׳ll give you some of the money that people donate – after all, it has to be given to a talmid chacham who is poor and humble, and you fit the bill on both counts.״ She holds back her sobs. She knows she has merited a great treasure, a special husband, a choshuve yungerman, but middas hadin seems to have decreed that afterwards, no remnant will remain. All their efforts, their hishtadlus, everything in the world they could have possibly tried, and still – nothing. Literally nothing. And in the meantime, their funds have been totally exhausted, dried up. Doctors and tests, treatments and more tests – and still, no child.
“A talmid chacham who is both poor and humble… maybe I will call Kupat Ha׳ir to tell them that I know someone like that, and maybe they will give the money from the segulah to him, and in doing so, I can also fulfill the segulah...״
How much sorrow there is in this home, how much pain in their hearts.
The Fateful Decision
Maybe this couple will decide to use the money for the segulah, and maybe they won׳t. Only they can make the decision, but Hashem should help that they shouldn׳t need to make it – if only they should somehow be granted both those things they are lacking – and the main thing, that their tefillos should be accepted on High.
For what is this segulah? It׳s just a request, made in the best possible way, and that is all that they are asking – that their tefillos be accepted.
But it׳s not only they who are suffering. It׳s their parents, too, who see their younger children married and starting families of their own – and it breaks their hearts to see this one couple still waiting. It׳s his friends in kollel, and her friends at work – it׳s all those around them who know them and share, if but a little, their distress.
An Ancient Segulah
When can it be said with certainty that Hakadosh Baruch Hu has true nachas ruach from His people? At times like this, when He sees how we donate to
Erev Shavuos is an auspicious time to daven for the blessing of children, writes Rav Chaim Palagi. The source for this statement is in the Torah itself. The Alshich Hakadosh explains that it was on Erev Shavuos that Reuven found mandrakes and brought them to his mother, Leah Imeinu. Going right back to the days of our Avos Hakedoshim, this day has been established as one that awaits the tefillos and bakashos of those who are davening for children.tzedakah for the merit of others, that they should be blessed with children… One hundred and four coins for each couple, many times over – along with the tefillos that rend the Heavens, the verses of Tehillim – all these attest to our ahavas Yisrael, our concern for our fellow Yidden, our desire to do whatever we can to help.
This is not a segulah that was ׳invented׳ in recent generations. Already several years ago, the Rebbe of Chernobyl shlit״a said that the words of Rav Chaim Palagi don׳t need any outside confirmation – but this year, we actually found the source in the Torah itself. Erev Shavuos is when Leah Imeinu a״h davened for and was blessed with children, and the mandrakes on that day were the segulah that led to the birth of Yissaschar.
A Segulah from the Times of the Avos!
From the days of Reuven ben Yaakov? So long ago? The Torah precedes the world by 974 generations! And since then, this date, Erev Shavuos, has been established as one on which the Shaarei Shamayim open in response to the cries of those waiting for children – in order to bring about their yeshuah!
This date – the one cited by Rav Chaim Palagi in his segulah.
To Gain So Much – From So Little…
When we support talmidei chachamim, we are doing so much more than simply giving tzedakah. “Im ain kemach, ain Torah…״ Supporting talmidei chachamim and enabling them to continue to learn, without financial distractions, makes us partners in their learning, and we literally acquire a portion of their sechar of limmud haTorah.
Such merits, such zechuyos, that go straight up to Shamayim and intercede on our behalf, this hundred and four coins that open the gates of mercy. Everything that is stated in regard to the mitzvah of tzedakah applies to this segulah, as well as everything that applies to supporting Torah and Torah scholars. A segulah whose value is hard to estimate, hard to truly appreciate.
After learning of this tremendous segulah, we at Kupat Ha׳ir realized that it was an opportunity not to be missed – not for us, but for our supporters. And yet – who were we to decide who is a genuine talmid chacham, one who is not only poor but also truly humble? Whose eyes are pure enough to discern such things?
And so, we turned to the Gedolei Hador, and asked them to help us. When it comes to poverty, we can say that we are experts – after all, we have lists and lists of those who qualify, and we can also make our own inquiries. But to know who is truly humble in Hashem׳s Eyes – surely this is a matter hidden in the heart of a person?
“Please choose the names from the list!״ we at Kupat Ha׳ir begged of the Gedolei Hador. “You must choose! Your eyes see further than the written word on the page, and what׳s more, Hakadosh Baruch Hu will not allow a mistake to happen through your actions. We cannot decide who is deserving – you must decide, and then, the segulah will be fulfilled in the only way possible.״
And the Gedolei Hador agreed. Kupat Ha׳ir then presented them with the lists, and the Gedolei Hador indicated who should receive the 104 coins. They themselves pored over the lists from Kupat Ha׳ir, long columns of names that we had already whittled down as much as we could, and the Gedolei Hador indicated with a mark on the paper next to the names of those they judged to be truly deserving. Who would receive the 104 coins? Only those who are truly talmidei chachamim, truly poor, and truly humble.
Only the Gedolei Hador decided who are truly poor and humble talmidei chachamim.
A Yeshuah on Erev Shavuos
When you reach this day, Erev Shavuos, think about the childless couples. Think about all those who yearn to become fathers and mothers, whose arms ache to hold their own child, whose eyes have run dry of tears.
When you reach this day, Erev Shavuos, spare a thought for what is going through their minds, open up your heart to feel their pain. Out of all your acquaintances, you probably already know of at least one couple like this.
On this Erev Shavuos, your money can be directed solely to those whom the Gedolei Hador have attested are truly talmidei chachamim. The zechus of supporting true bnei Torah. And not just that, but those who are genuinely needy, and truly humble. A tremendous opportunity – the choice is in your hands. Halevai you should merit to take it – only you stand to gain.
Tzedakahfor talmidei chachamim, those who are truly poor and humble, a tremendous segulah – this tzedakah is a treasure trove for those who grab hold of it, seizing the opportunity.
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