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Kupat Ha'ir – The Tzedakah of the Gedolei Hador Kupat Ha'ir is the largest volunteer based charity fund supported by Jews worldwide. Kupat Ha'ir is the lifeline for thousands of needy. With offices in Israel, the U.S., Canada and throughout Europe.
Main  >  I Contributed and Merited Salvation – Stories of Salvation  >  I Contributed and Merited Salvation – Stories of Salvation

I Contributed and Merited Salvation – Stories of Salvation

The Finger of Hashem

This story can be heard firsthand after 22:00 at 050-4124768 

Ayelet Hashachar is a unique organization spearheaded by the Chavruta project. The organization matches women eager to learn about Judaism with mitzvah-observant women who study with them. Both parties enjoy and are enriched by the connection and countless zechuyos can be chalked up to Ayelet Hashachar, which offers support and encouragement to the volunteers and accompanies them the entire time.

In this story, both Ayelet Hashachar and Kupat Ha’ir “star” in an awesome tapestry of hashgachah pratis.

We’ve lifted the curtain and listened in on a number of telephone conversations that took place in the framework of the organization. The two parties are Rochel Friedman, a chareidi woman and mother to a large family, and Yifat Cohen of Afula, her student. Just one of the thousands of partners in learning set up by Ayelet Hashachar.

The names are fictitious.

The story – one hundred percent true.

Conversation No. 1

“Hello. Is this Yifat?”

“Speaking.”

“My name is Rochel Friedman. I got your number from the Ayelet Hashachar organization. I was looking for someone to study Judaism with and they gave me your name.”

“Okay. Shall we begin?”

And they began.

Conversation No. 4

“You know something, Rochel? I got rid of everything red I had in my closet, even some clothing that was practically brand new. All because you told me last week that red was not an appropriate color for a Jewish woman. I hope I got a mitzvah.”

Conversation No. 7

“Rochel, what should I do if I started eating something in one room and then my son called me and I went into another room to see what he wanted? Can I just continue eating or should I make another brachah?

“My husband tells me, ‘Yifat, stop with this nonsense, would you? The meat is the same meat; you’re the same person – why should you make another blessing?’ The truth is, he doesn’t see why you have to make a blessing in the first place. But I think there might be a difference. You once told me that a brachah is no longer in effect once you eave the room, didn’t you? Can you sum up for me exactly how it works, where it’s okay to go in middle of eating and when you have to make a new brachah?”

Conversation No. 12

“Hafrashas challah? I’ve never heard of such a thing.”

“It’s one of the mitzvos special to women. It’s a segulah for lots of good things.”

“I want to do it, then. Tell me how.”

“Let’s study the halachos together and then I’ll give you a fabulous recipe. On Friday, you’ll make the dough, separate challah and then make challos out of the rest of the dough.”

Conversation No. 27

“Hi, Yifat, what’s new?”

“You have no idea what you did to me last week.”

“Last week? We discussed the laws of hashavas aveidah, returning lost property.”

“Yes, and you told me that you’re obligated to return something even if the owner has lost he same item a thousand times.”

“That’s right.”

“I want to tell you something personal, but don’t laugh at me.”

“G-d forbid.”

“And don’t make fun of me.”

“I won’t.”

“And don’t think badly of me.”

“Not at all.”

“You know I work as a cleaning woman.”

“Yes, you’ve mentioned it more than once.”

“Five years ago, I worked for a very wealthy family. It was a pleasure to work there. The pay was good and the work wasn’t hard. It was a big, spacious house and it was usually pretty clean to begin with.

“One day, as I was sweeping my employers’ bedroom, I saw a stunning ring on the floor. It was white gold with a huge diamond and it had an unusual design. I would say the ring must have been worth at least ten thousand shekels.

“I’m not a thief,” Yifat hurried to explain. “My employer was sitting in her large living room, listening to her daughter play the piano. I brought the ring to her and said quietly, ‘Mrs. Edri, I found this ring on the floor.’ Believe me, Rochel, if she hadn’t been my employer I’d have given her a speech about taking care of expensive items. But I didn’t want to risk making her angry with me.”

“Okay, so you returned a lost object,” Rochel noted. “Actually, I’m not sure the ring would actually be considered a ‘lost object ‘ according to halachah, considering it was in her house.”

“Wait, there’s more,” Yifat went on. “The following week, I was sweeping the floor again – and there it was! The same diamond ring on the floor! Now I was really annoyed. What if I hadn’t noticed it and it would have been thrown into the garbage? What if someone had kicked it and it would have flown into the drainage hole? How could someone be so careless with an expensive ring? But I’m an honest woman. I bent down, picked up the ring and brought it to Mrs. Edri. This time she was in her daughter’s room porch, helping her with her homework. I placed the ring on the desk and told her that it had been on the floor.

“I went home thinking about people who re so rich that money is like garbage to them. I considered asking for a raise in salary. If the Edris so didn’t need their money, and I needed money s badly, why shouldn’t they give me a little more?

“The following week, I went about my work, deliberating over whether or not to ask for a raise. I took the broom and began sweeping. And guess what I suddenly see sparkling among the airs of the broom?”

“The ring.”

“Exactly. How’d you guess? The same stunning diamond ring with the same stunning design. It had been on the floor again! This was the third time! I said to myself, Enough is enough. If she doesn’t need the ring, there’s no reason it should remain here. What for? So that I should have to bend down, pick it up and bring it to her week after week after week?

“This time, my employer was sipping a cup of juice in the kitchen. I didn’t give her the ring. Instead, I slipped it into my pocket. After work, I went to a goldsmith and sold it. The goldsmith gave me three thousand, six hundred shekels for it. I’m quite sure it was worth closer to ten thousand, but I didn’t argue. I was afraid to give myself away.”

“And? What happened next?” Rochel asked in suspense.

“Nothing. Mrs. Edri apparently never even noticed that the ring had disappeared. But my conscience has begun bothering me terribly. Do you think you could ask a rav for me what I can do about the situation? But make sure to tell the rav I don’t have the money to pay for what I took. The money I received from the goldsmith is long gone and there’s o way I can come up with such a sum of money now. Maybe I can get an absolution? The story happened years ago. Isn’t there such a thing as amnesty in the Torah?”

“There’s no such thing. But maybe we can find a solution. G-d willing, I’ll speak to Rav Silman, shlit”a.”

Conversation No. 28

“Hi, Yifat; it’s me, Rochel.”

“Hi. Well, did you ask the Rav?”

“Yes. I told him you took the ring and…”

“Did you tell him that I found the ring on the floor three times? I wouldn’t want him to think I’m a lowly thief.”

“I told him. I told him the whole story the way you told it to me.”

“And what did he say?”

“He said you’re obligated to return what you took.”

“But I can’t! I don’t have that kind of money? What am I supposed to do, starve my children?”

“The Rav suggested that you try to work something out with the Edris. Maybe you can pay them back in small monthly installments, for example. But according to the torah, you’re obligated to return what you took. You can’t just erase your debt.”

Rochel felt awful. Yifat had sobbed over the phone the last time they’d spoken. Rochel knew Yifat couldn’t bear to feel like a thief. She wanted to return what she had taken but she simply couldn’t afford such a sum.

“I’m contributing two hundred shekels to Kupat Ha’irso that Yifat’s problem should be resolved,” Rochel told her husband.

“What do you mean?” her husband asked. “What might possibly happen? You think she’ll suddenly strike it rich?”

“I don’t know. Hashem will take care of it in the merit of Kupat Ha’ir. He has no lack of ways and means at his disposal.”

Conversation No. 53

“Hello, is Rochel there?”

“Yifat! I can’t believe you’re calling me! You’ve never once called since we began studying together. I always call you.”

“I just had to tell you something. Hashem is with me, Rochel. Hashem is with me!”

“Is this about the ring?”

“You bet! You won’t believe what happened. I’m working for the Shir family now. The Shirs are fabulously wealthy, even more than the Edris. Mrs. Shir has tons of jewelry. Believe me, I don’t know when she gets to wear half of it. Two weeks ago, Mrs. Shir called me over.

“ ‘Yifat,’ she said to me, ‘I trust you. I have a lot of old jewelry that I don’t touch anymore. We’re planning a trip abroad soon. I don’t feel like leaving all this jewelry in the house but I don’t have time to deal with selling it, either. I’d like you to take it to a certain jewelry store and cash it in. I’ll pay you for your time, okay?’

“She gave me a whole pile of necklaces, bracelets, pins and… one ring. Rochel, I know you won’t believe this, but I saw that it was almost exactly the same as the ring I had taken from the Edris a few years ago! You know, the one I found on the floor three times and finally decided to keep. The one that has been keeping me up nights lately. This ring had a similar design to that one and approximately the same size diamond.

“Mrs. Shir saw me staring at the ring. She assumed I wanted it for myself and offered to sell it to me for two thousand shekels.”

“And? Did you buy it from her?”

“Wait a minute. Not yet. I don’t have that kind of money. But I was glad that I would at least know where such a ring could be found.

“I went to the store. They weighed all the items and told me how much they were willing to pay for each item. I left the jewelry with them and received a check. I kept the ring with me in the meantime. I didn’t give it to the store.

“Two days later, Mrs. Shir called me. ‘Listen, Yifat,’ she told me. ‘I’ve changed my mind. I don’t want to sell my jewelry after all. I spoke with the store. Return the check, please, and I’ll go down to the store to pick up the jewelry.”

“I still have the ring here with me,” I reminded her.

“Oh, you mean the ring I offered to sell you? You know what? Keep it. No, you don’t have to pay me for it. Let’s make it my goodbye present to you. You were wonderful cleaning help. We’ll miss you.”

“You mean she gave you the ring, just like that?” Rochel’s breath caught in her throat.

“Just like that! I told you Hashem is with me. After receiving such a clear sign, I worked up my courage and contacted my previous employer, Mrs. Edri, whose ring I had taken for myself. I told her the whole story and returned the ring. Everything’s okay now. Hashem is with me, I tell you! Hashem is with me.”

As He is with everyone who contributes to Kupat Ha’ir.

Ayelet Hashachar is a unique organization spearheaded by the Chavruta project. The organization matches women eager to learn about Judaism with mitzvah-observant women who study with them. Both parties enjoy and are enriched by the connection and countless zechuyos can be chalked up to Ayelet Hashachar, which offers support and encouragement to the volunteers and accompanies them the entire time.

In this story, both Ayelet Hashachar and Kupat Ha’ir “star” in an awesome tapestry of hashgachah pratis.

We’ve lifted the curtain and listened in on a number of telephone conversations that took place in the framework of the organization. The two parties are Rochel Friedman, a chareidi woman and mother to a large family, and Yifat Cohen of Afula, her student. Just one of the thousands of partners in learning set up by Ayelet Hashachar.

The names are fictitious.

The story – one hundred percent true.

Conversation No. 1

“Hello. Is this Yifat?”

“Speaking.”

“My name is Rochel Friedman. I got your number from the Ayelet Hashachar organization. I was looking for someone to study Judaism with and they gave me your name.”

“Okay. Shall we begin?”

And they began.

Conversation No. 4

“You know something, Rochel? I got rid of everything red I had in my closet, even some clothing that was practically brand new. All because you told me last week that red was not an appropriate color for a Jewish woman. I hope I got a mitzvah.”

Conversation No. 7

“Rochel, what should I do if I started eating something in one room and then my son called me and I went into another room to see what he wanted? Can I just continue eating or should I make another brachah?

“My husband tells me, ‘Yifat, stop with this nonsense, would you? The meat is the same meat; you’re the same person – why should you make another blessing?’ The truth is, he doesn’t see why you have to make a blessing in the first place. But I think there might be a difference. You once told me that a brachah is no longer in effect once you eave the room, didn’t you? Can you sum up for me exactly how it works, where it’s okay to go in middle of eating and when you have to make a new brachah?”

Conversation No. 12

“Hafrashas challah? I’ve never heard of such a thing.”

“It’s one of the mitzvos special to women. It’s a segulah for lots of good things.”

“I want to do it, then. Tell me how.”

“Let’s study the halachos together and then I’ll give you a fabulous recipe. On Friday, you’ll make the dough, separate challah and then make challos out of the rest of the dough.”

Conversation No. 27

“Hi, Yifat, what’s new?”

“You have no idea what you did to me last week.”

“Last week? We discussed the laws of hashavas aveidah, returning lost property.”

“Yes, and you told me that you’re obligated to return something even if the owner has lost he same item a thousand times.”

“That’s right.”

“I want to tell you something personal, but don’t laugh at me.”

“G-d forbid.”

“And don’t make fun of me.”

“I won’t.”

“And don’t think badly of me.”

“Not at all.”

“You know I work as a cleaning woman.”

“Yes, you’ve mentioned it more than once.”

“Five years ago, I worked for a very wealthy family. It was a pleasure to work there. The pay was good and the work wasn’t hard. It was a big, spacious house and it was usually pretty clean to begin with.

“One day, as I was sweeping my employers’ bedroom, I saw a stunning ring on the floor. It was white gold with a huge diamond and it had an unusual design. I would say the ring must have been worth at least ten thousand shekels.

“I’m not a thief,” Yifat hurried to explain. “My employer was sitting in her large living room, listening to her daughter play the piano. I brought the ring to her and said quietly, ‘Mrs. Edri, I found this ring on the floor.’ Believe me, Rochel, if she hadn’t been my employer I’d have given her a speech about taking care of expensive items. But I didn’t want to risk making her angry with me.”

“Okay, so you returned a lost object,” Rochel noted. “Actually, I’m not sure the ring would actually be considered a ‘lost object ‘ according to halachah, considering it was in her house.”

“Wait, there’s more,” Yifat went on. “The following week, I was sweeping the floor again – and there it was! The same diamond ring on the floor! Now I was really annoyed. What if I hadn’t noticed it and it would have been thrown into the garbage? What if someone had kicked it and it would have flown into the drainage hole? How could someone be so careless with an expensive ring? But I’m an honest woman. I bent down, picked up the ring and brought it to Mrs. Edri. This time she was in her daughter’s room porch, helping her with her homework. I placed the ring on the desk and told her that it had been on the floor.

“I went home thinking about people who re so rich that money is like garbage to them. I considered asking for a raise in salary. If the Edris so didn’t need their money, and I needed money s badly, why shouldn’t they give me a little more?

“The following week, I went about my work, deliberating over whether or not to ask for a raise. I took the broom and began sweeping. And guess what I suddenly see sparkling among the airs of the broom?”

“The ring.”

“Exactly. How’d you guess? The same stunning diamond ring with the same stunning design. It had been on the floor again! This was the third time! I said to myself, Enough is enough. If she doesn’t need the ring, there’s no reason it should remain here. What for? So that I should have to bend down, pick it up and bring it to her week after week after week?

“This time, my employer was sipping a cup of juice in the kitchen. I didn’t give her the ring. Instead, I slipped it into my pocket. After work, I went to a goldsmith and sold it. The goldsmith gave me three thousand, six hundred shekels for it. I’m quite sure it was worth closer to ten thousand, but I didn’t argue. I was afraid to give myself away.”

“And? What happened next?” Rochel asked in suspense.

“Nothing. Mrs. Edri apparently never even noticed that the ring had disappeared. But my conscience has begun bothering me terribly. Do you think you could ask a rav for me what I can do about the situation? But make sure to tell the rav I don’t have the money to pay for what I took. The money I received from the goldsmith is long gone and there’s o way I can come up with such a sum of money now. Maybe I can get an absolution? The story happened years ago. Isn’t there such a thing as amnesty in the Torah?”

“There’s no such thing. But maybe we can find a solution. G-d willing, I’ll speak to Rav Silman, shlit”a.”

Conversation No. 28

“Hi, Yifat; it’s me, Rochel.”

“Hi. Well, did you ask the Rav?”

“Yes. I told him you took the ring and…”

“Did you tell him that I found the ring on the floor three times? I wouldn’t want him to think I’m a lowly thief.”

“I told him. I told him the whole story the way you told it to me.”

“And what did he say?”

“He said you’re obligated to return what you took.”

“But I can’t! I don’t have that kind of money? What am I supposed to do, starve my children?”

“The Rav suggested that you try to work something out with the Edris. Maybe you can pay them back in small monthly installments, for example. But according to the torah, you’re obligated to return what you took. You can’t just erase your debt.”

Rochel felt awful. Yifat had sobbed over the phone the last time they’d spoken. Rochel knew Yifat couldn’t bear to feel like a thief. She wanted to return what she had taken but she simply couldn’t afford such a sum.

“I’m contributing two hundred shekels to Kupat Ha’irso that Yifat’s problem should be resolved,” Rochel told her husband.

“What do you mean?” her husband asked. “What might possibly happen? You think she’ll suddenly strike it rich?”

“I don’t know. Hashem will take care of it in the merit of Kupat Ha’ir. He has no lack of ways and means at his disposal.”

Conversation No. 53

“Hello, is Rochel there?”

“Yifat! I can’t believe you’re calling me! You’ve never once called since we began studying together. I always call you.”

“I just had to tell you something. Hashem is with me, Rochel. Hashem is with me!”

“Is this about the ring?”

“You bet! You won’t believe what happened. I’m working for the Shir family now. The Shirs are fabulously wealthy, even more than the Edris. Mrs. Shir has tons of jewelry. Believe me, I don’t know when she gets to wear half of it. Two weeks ago, Mrs. Shir called me over.

“ ‘Yifat,’ she said to me, ‘I trust you. I have a lot of old jewelry that I don’t touch anymore. We’re planning a trip abroad soon. I don’t feel like leaving all this jewelry in the house but I don’t have time to deal with selling it, either. I’d like you to take it to a certain jewelry store and cash it in. I’ll pay you for your time, okay?’

“She gave me a whole pile of necklaces, bracelets, pins and… one ring. Rochel, I know you won’t believe this, but I saw that it was almost exactly the same as the ring I had taken from the Edris a few years ago! You know, the one I found on the floor three times and finally decided to keep. The one that has been keeping me up nights lately. This ring had a similar design to that one and approximately the same size diamond.

“Mrs. Shir saw me staring at the ring. She assumed I wanted it for myself and offered to sell it to me for two thousand shekels.”

“And? Did you buy it from her?”

“Wait a minute. Not yet. I don’t have that kind of money. But I was glad that I would at least know where such a ring could be found.

“I went to the store. They weighed all the items and told me how much they were willing to pay for each item. I left the jewelry with them and received a check. I kept the ring with me in the meantime. I didn’t give it to the store.

“Two days later, Mrs. Shir called me. ‘Listen, Yifat,’ she told me. ‘I’ve changed my mind. I don’t want to sell my jewelry after all. I spoke with the store. Return the check, please, and I’ll go down to the store to pick up the jewelry.”

“I still have the ring here with me,” I reminded her.

“Oh, you mean the ring I offered to sell you? You know what? Keep it. No, you don’t have to pay me for it. Let’s make it my goodbye present to you. You were wonderful cleaning help. We’ll miss you.”

“You mean she gave you the ring, just like that?” Rochel’s breath caught in her throat.

“Just like that! I told you Hashem is with me. After receiving such a clear sign, I worked up my courage and contacted my previous employer, Mrs. Edri, whose ring I had taken for myself. I told her the whole story and returned the ring. Everything’s okay now. Hashem is with me, I tell you! Hashem is with me.”

As He is with everyone who contributes to Kupat Ha’ir.

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