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.
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I Contributed and Merited Salvation – Stories of Salvation

Second Time in the Yeshuos Magazine

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Their story, publicized in the yeshuos magazine of Chanukah 5769, elicited considerable response. A contribution to Kupat Ha’ir had blessed them with unusual siyatta dishmaya, and on the day of his mother’s yahrtzeit, her son managed to put together a minyan in faraway Anatolia, Turkey. Later, his flight was moved up to an earlier time than originally scheduled, enabling him to land in Eretz Yisrael early enough to daven Shacharis with a minyan in Eretz Yisrael.

They’ve come back to us once more with yet another story, no less amazing – perhaps even more so – than the first.

This time, too, they were on their way out of Eretz Yisrael. Having learned their lesson well by now, they made sure to contribute a significant sum to Kupat Ha’ir before boarding the plane.

This time their destination was considerably further: China. They planned to spend a few days in the foreign country. A group of ten men (plus some women and children) had made up to travel together so there would always be a minyan. As a group, they hoped, it would be easier to obtain Jewish necessities, find a suitable place to stay and most importantly – daven three times daily betzibbur.

Shanghai plays an important role in Jewish history. The exiled Mirrer yeshivah found refuge there during World War II. Amazing stories of hashgachah pratis abound, from fact that the train tracks to Vladivostok were used only one time - for the train upon which the students fled the area - to various other miracles they merited there until they were able to return to settled Jewish neighborhoods. Visiting the famed city made the tourists’ heart skip a beat. Shanghai! How much Torah had this foreign city absorbed? How many hours of intensive learning amidst tremendous love and a complete cut-off from distractions? What an impression a holy yeshivah can etch on the secular history of a foreign, gentile country!

The plane landed in Shanghai and the members of the group could barely contain their curiosity.

At the time, the first cases of swine flu had just broken out. Border control had become tight and meticulous. People were quarantined at the slightest suspicion that they might be harboring the virus; not a thought was given to their carefully laid plans or the money invested in them. Like people all over the world, the Chinese, too, place life and health over everything else, and Chinese health officials, along with doctors and nurses, were present in their airports.

The Israeli group was calm and unconcerned. They had come directly from Israel. They hadn’t been anywhere near Mexico and they all felt well, thank G-d. They waited impatiently to be over the annoying delay. As they prepared to go through customs, they watched as people to their right and left were led away to be quarantined despite their protests.

As part of the medical security procedure, each of them was handed a thermometer. A nurse, speaking English with a distinct Chinese accent, supervised them to make sure they all did the job right. Then she collected the thermometers and checked to make sure the results were okay. One, two, three, four ---

She yelped.

One of the group had fever!

Everyone turned to look at them. Now they were in the center of the drama! As they were a group, the verdict was the same for all of them: quarantine!

No amount of protests or tears had any effect. The Chinese were unimpressed by the fact hat they had just arrived from such a long journey or that they only had a short while to stay in the country.

The Chinese doctors congregated to discuss the situation as a group of policemen surrounded the group, their eyes flashing fear and hatred. Swine flu! Each member of the group appeared to them as a huge, monstrous virus. Each of them was potentially contagious; each of them might cause a renewed outbreak of the epidemic.

The instructions were clear and final: the entire group was to be quarantined until the reason for the man’s fever was verified.

The head of the group feared the worst. Quarantine is no picnic. Aside from the fear of exposure to the frightening virus, the conditions in such places tend to be tough and exhausting. He decided he had to try to do the impossible. A contribution to Kupat Ha’ir gave him the courage he needed. It gave him, after all, the backing of the powerful merits of tzedakah, tefillah and the blessing of tzaddikim. The rest of the group stood together and prayed from the bottom of their hearts as he made his way to the most senior doctor.

His English wasn’t the greatest, but he managed to make himself understood. He requested that the doctor quarantine only the fellow with fever and allow the rest of them to leave. He spoke passionately, knowing all the while that there was virtually no chance the doctor would listen to him but persisting in pinning his hopes on Hashem.

The doctor listened, nodding from time to time to show he understood. The expression on his face was one of distaste. It was obvious he did not agree with the arguments raised by the head of the group, whose heart plummeted.

But his request was granted!

Why? Just like that, for no reason. The hearts of kings and ministers are in Hashem’s hand – and so, undoubtedly, are the hearts of doctor!

A collective sigh of relief went up from the group. The poor fellow with fever was terribly distressed, but at least only he would be suffering and not the entire group.

They left the airport, leaving their friend to be whisked off to a hospital that had been converted into a quarantine center for people who had symptoms of the deadly flu.

The head of the group made sure to verify the name and location of the hospital, though he didn’t know what good it would do him. Entrance to the hospital was strictly forbidden.

Despite their best efforts, they were left without a minyan…

With some effort, they managed to find another Yid in order to daven betzibbur. But their hearts ached for their Israeli friend and they davened for him from the depths of their hearts.

In a most extraordinary fashion, with the amazing hashgachah pratis of Kupat Ha’ir accompanying him every step of the way, the head of the group managed to sneak into the hospital with a few antibiotic capsules. He located his sick friend and gave him the pills.

Half a day passed, then another. He remained in the hospital for a full twenty-four hours.

The shifts changed and the patients were checked again. The Israeli patient’s fever was still high and his throat ached. He continued taking the antibiotics surreptitiously.

“We need more zechuyos,” the head of the group said to the others. “We can’t go on this way. Who knows how long they might keep him there with all types of strange people, some of who are really sick?”

We need more zechuyos. The group already knew where to find them. They withdrew their cell phones and dialed the familiar number, a silent prayer on their lips. The power of their prayer would boost the power of their contributions.

Another half a day passed and the man’s fever went down. Another examination – and he was released! The group reunited joyfully.

Before boarding the plane, don’t forget the most important piece of “equipment,” they write at the conclusion of their letter. “A contribution to Kupat Ha’ir is an absolute must! Sometimes you can literally see the gates of Heaven open. Sometimes Hashem’s chessed is so great that everything goes smoothly and you don’t see anything! Either way, travel is not without its dangers and KupatHa’ir provides crucial protection. Don’t travel without it!”

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