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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

Lots of Heavenly Assistance

"We haven’t contributed yet!" Mrs. G said urgently to her husband. The plane was about to take off from Eretz Yisrael; in another few moments, they'd be over the open sea.
"It's not too late," Mr. G replied with a soothing smile, trying to calm his agitated wife. He knew she always got butterflies in her stomach before a flight. Like so many other people, she always imagined the worst – and knew what to do to relieve the pressure.
Ever since they had accepted upon themselves, in a sort of unofficial kabbalah, to contribute to Kupat Ha'ir before every flight – Mrs. G's fears had subsided. Mr. G was rather amused by his wife's steadfast belief in Kupat Ha'ir's miracles. But what did he care… so long as she was calm, the contribution was worth it. If he could help the poor, receive a tax refund and make his wife happy all at once – why not? What could be better?
He whipped out his cell phone and dialed Kupat Ha'ir. He gave the secretary his credit card number and told her how much he wanted to contribute.
"Would you like to give us a name to be transmitted to the Gedolei Hador so they can daven for you?" the secretary asked.
Mr. G covered the receiver. "What should we ask the Rabbanim to daven for?" he asked his wife.
"Ask that they daven for both of us, that everything should go smoothly, without problems and with lots of heavenly assistance," she replied.
Mr. G repeated what his wife had said to the secretary and carefully spelled his own name, that of his wife's and those of their mothers.
"Good," Mrs. G said, settling comfortably in her seat as her husband concluded the conversation. "Now that I know we've secured heavenly assistance by contributing to Kupat Ha'ir, I can relax."
Mr. G chuckled to himself and straightened his knitted kippah on his head. You would think his wife had been born and bred in Bnei Brak! Hearing her talk about Kupat Ha'ir, no one would believe she lived in one of the settlement areas and looked the way she did. Her friends thought she was nuts to believe in the power of Kupat Ha'ir as if it were some type of voodoo.
His wife glanced at him sideways, catching his amused expression. She said nothing. He who laughs last laughs best. She preferred to be on the safe side, on the side of those who contribute.
They touched down in Antalya, in southern Turkey.  Everything went smoothly. They checked into their hotel room and visited the clinic that was the purpose of their trip. Slowly, their tension eased and they began to enjoy their beautiful surroundings.
"Try to think of this as a vacation," Mr. G said to his wife one evening as they sat watching the magnificent sunset from easy chairs on the porch of their hotel room. "Just like that, in middle of the winter. 14, 15 and 16 Teves…"
Suddenly, the expression on his face changed to one of panic. He leaped up from his chair. "I don't believe it!" he gasped. "Where are my brains? I'm not normal! I'm done for! I'm…"
"Would you stop berating yourself and tell me what the matter is?"
"Don't you get it? 16 Teves! Sixteen Teves and we're here, in this G-d forsaken place in a corner of the world!"
"Calm down! So what if it's 16 Teves…" The question died on her lips. She paled as she understood what her husband was so upset about.
"I'm my mother's kaddish'l," he whispered.
"You will say kaddish for me, kaddish'l," his mother had told him, her face whiter than the sheet upon which she lay. "You'll say kaddish for me, my son. You're my kaddish'l. You won't forget, will you?"
He'd promised never to forget. His mother had been calling him her kaddish'l ever since he'd been a little boy. She used to smother him with kisses and hugs as she whispered this term of endearment over and over again. His mother had been a true Yiddishe Mama. She'd done more during her lifetime for the sake of her own soul than many of us do for the sake of the neshamos of our relatives who pass on. Today's young people have a hard time dealing with the concept of olam haba; it feels so far away and remote. His mother, however, had called him kaddish'l his entire life, testifying to her constant cognizance of a different world that awaited her. When she aged, she made sure to mention the fact every time he visited her, first at home and later in an old age home.
And he had always made sure to recite kaddish for her. Every year on her yahrtzeit, he attended shul and recited kaddish with great earnestness and fervor. He concentrated on his words serving as an aliyah for the soul of his mother, Rivkah bas Yackov Dov, and he prayed that it was good for her there, in Gan Eden, along with the soul of his father, which had ascended to Shamayim twenty-five years before her own. In previous years, he had canceled business meetings and ignored a serious case of the flu in order to be in shul on the day of her yahrtzeit. Every time he saw his mother's face in the family albums or even in his mind's eye, he would whisper, "I'm doing what you asked of me, Mama. I've never missed saying kaddish for you."
But now her yahtzeit was fast approaching. It was that very evening, in fact! And they were stuck in Antalya, Turkey!
"You'll say kaddish tomorrow," his wife said. "By tomorrow evening, we'll be back in Eretz Yisrael." But her words were of little comfort to her husband.
Tomorrow's Thursday. There's no sefer Torah here, no nothing. No minyan. Maybe I'll still make minchah in Eretz Yisrael - but maybe not. How could I have forgotten Mama? I'll never forgive myself!"
He paced their hotel room like a caged lion. He had never forgotten his mother's yahrtzeit – never! He had never missed davening a single one of the three tefilos with a minyan on her yahrtzeit. How could he go up to her kever in a day or two if he hadn't recited kaddish on her yahrtzeit? How would he ever be able to look at the large picture of her that hung in his office? How had he – her kaddish'l – forgotten her?
"But we had to go," his wife reminded him. "It was a medical matter."
Her words made no impression on him whatsoever.
"I'm going out to look for Jews," he told her. "There are a few hotels in the area. Maybe I'll manage to scrape together a few people to daven maariv. Then we'll think about what to do tomorrow."
He closed the door behind him and left, leaving her on the porch to worry about how she would comfort him when he returned in disappointment. How would he manage to find a minyan of Jews to join him in prayer here in non-Jewish Antalya?
He left, knowing he hadn't a chance in the world.
He met a Jew. A Jew that looked like a Jew, his eyes shining with goodwill. In gentile surroundings, all Jews feel like brothers. Mr. G approached the Yid and told him about his problem.
"You want to put together a minyan?" the Jew asked with a smile as he shook Mr. G's hand. "It looks like my 'profession' chases me wherever I go. I'm a gabbai in a beis knesses in Tel Aviv. I'm here for just two days. You've come to the right man! A gabbai is a gabbai, wherever he may be!"
Of all the people in the world, Hakadosh Baruch Hu had arranged for him to meet this man!
The gabbai proved to be a real pro. Within a few minutes, a minyan was arranged and our kaddish'l recited kaddish with great fervor.
For you, Mama, he whispered silently. So that you should have it good in Gan Eden. So that your soul should have an aliyah. I haven't forgotten you, Ima.
He returned to his hotel room with mixed feelings. He was glad he had recited Kaddish at maariv but he was already worried about what would be the next day for Shacharis. Maybe, maybe he would make minchah in Eretz Yisrael. That was all he dared hope for.

 In the evening, Mr. G received a call from a travel agency.
"Your flight to Tel Aviv will be leaving earlier than scheduled, sir," he was told. "We apologize for any inconvenience this change may cause you. We have a serious problem on our hands and the airport staff is trying its best to see to it that all travelers will be able to reach their destinations as close as possible to the originally scheduled times. Your flight to Tel Aviv will be leaving at 7:00 a.m."
"Seven a.m.?" he whispered, shocked.
"Yes, sir. Is that inconvenient for you? Would you like to schedule a different date for your departure? The next flight will be leaving…"
"No, no, no!" he exclaimed hurriedly. "I want the seven o'clock flight. I want it very badly! When is the estimated arrival time in Tel Aviv?"
"Eight-thirty, sir."
"Eight-thirty! Eight-thirty! If I take a cab to Bnei Brak, I should still make a minyan at Itzkowitz!"
"Excuse me, sir?"
"Never mind. I was talking to myself."
The clerk hung up feeling puzzled but he was over the moon. His wife was delighted as well.
As soon as he finished davening Shacharis at Itzkowitz, complete with fervent recitations of Kaddish on his part, he joined his wife, who was waiting for him not far away, and together, they went to look for Kupat Ha'ir.
She looks just like you'd expect a settler from Judea or Samaria to look. He looks like your typical National-Religious-nik, with a headful of curly hair under a knitted kippah fastened with a clip. But now he was no longer hiding a smile over how his wife believed in Kupat Ha'ir the way the Indians believed in their witches. He and she both know that the string of events they experienced can be described only as "lots of heavenly assistance." And they know in what zechus they merited that assistance.
They did not plan a trip to Kupat Ha'ir in advance, but it was clear to them both where they were heading. After all, didn't Kupat Ha'ir deserve another contribution?
When the G's letter arrived at Kupat Ha'ir's offices, it bore the title, "Kupat Ha'ir Arranges a Minyan in Antalya and Changes Flight Schedules." True, it's not a very catchy title, and true, it isn't exactly Kupat Ha'ir that did all that but siyata dishmaya. Kupat Ha'ir was just the messenger. Still, the title does say a lot, don't you think?

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