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

The Magic Password

Chol hamo'ed Pesach. Rav S, an esteemed avreich, left his house in Bnei Brak in order to travel to the Kosel. He always made an effort to daven there on each of the Shalosh Regalim and now it was already the last day of chol hamo'ed.
It was a sweltering hot day. It seemed to Rav S that the yetzer hara was trying to persuade him to give up on the idea but he did not intend to give in.
The bus shelter was terribly crowded. Everyone was trying to find a spot of shade in search of relief from the relentlessly shining sun. The moments ticked by. If you've ever waited for the 400 or 402 bus on chol hamo'ed, especially at one of the final bus stations, no further explanation is necessary. Either no busses show up at all or else they pass by packed to the gills and don't even bother stopping. Either way, you need to be very, very patient.
It was hot, hot, hot. Harav S wiped the perspiration off his forehead with a tissue he found in his pocket. Shifting from one leg to the other, he reminded himself that lefum tza'ara agra. Suddenly, a car pulled up and the driver motioned Rav S to step forward.
Rav S was only too happy to comply. He knew the driver well. An outstanding talmid chacham, Levi was handicapped and got around on a wheelchair or in his specialized car, which had an automated system for lowering his wheelchair. The two lived in the same neighborhood and shared a mutual admiration for one another.
"Are you on your way to Yerushalayim?" Levi asked. "The Kosel, I take it?"
"Hop in," Levi said magnanimously.
Rav S sighed with relief as he settled in near his friend. What could be better than this? A hitch to Yerushalayim – no, all the way to the Kosel - with a good friend who was a talmid chacham to boot.Maybe Levi could give him a ride back as well…
The trip went smoothly. Time has a way of flying by when you're immersed in a Torah discussion. There was a considerable amount of traffic at the entrance to Yerushalayim. Long lines of cars snaked as far as the eye could see.
"I heard there were celebrations in the Old City," a driver in a nearby car told them through the open window. "That's probably why traffic is at a standstill." Rav S and Levi continued their discussion. They were studying Torah; who cared about traffic?
The closer they drew to the Old City, the worse the situation became. Levi's certificate of disability proved to be a real help. People's natural respect and consideration cleared the way, allowing entry into crowded streets and helping them make slow but steady progress.
But even that had its limits.
Near Migdal David, a policeman stooped them. "Pull over!" he commanded.
"I'm handicapped," Levi tried, though the car he was driving made that obvious.
"Yes, I know. All handicapped people stop here." The policeman pointed to a row of vehicles for the handicapped.
"But how can I make it to the Kosel from here?" Levi asked. "It's far!"
"There's nothing to argue about," the cop replied. "Only police vehicles may continue from this point. Don't waste your time and mine."
Levi sighed. He pulled over and waited while his wife stepped out to try and talk to a more senior traffic policeman.
At this point, Rav S said goodbye. He thanked Levi warmly for the hitch, wished him a hearty Gut Yom Tov and set out on foot to the Kosel. For a healthy person, the walk doesn't usually take more than six or seven minutes.
The Kosel plaza was very crowded but Rav S found a corner in which to be alone with his Creator. It isn't every day a Yid from Bnei Brak comes to the Kosel, and it isn't Yom Tov every day, either. He took his time davening and beseeching Hashem to fulfill his wishes letovah. Just as he finished and was about to leave, he felt a hand on his shoulder.
"Want a ride home?"
Rav S looked at Levi in surprise. It seemed as though his friend had waited for him to finish davening. He and Levi began making their way toward the exit. Rav S knew Levi had a long and difficult route back to his car. Should he offer to push the wheelchair or would Levi be hurt?
He was still deliberating when they reached the Kosel's inner parking lot, where, parked in plain view was Levi's car! The rest of the parking lot was filled with police cars; there was not a single other vehicle to be seen.
Rav S was shocked. Levi's wife was already waiting for him. Levi got into the car, activated the automatic system that stashed his wheel chair for him and motioned Rav S to enter as well.
"But how did you get here?" Rav S asked. "How did they let you in here?"
Levi chuckled. "Haven't you ever heard of Kupat Ha'ir?" he asked. "My wife went to try to talk with the traffic officers there at Migdal David. She snagged the officer responsible for the entire area and tried to plead with her for permission to let us drive all the way to the Kosel. The officer looked at her, you know, the way a secular officer looks at a chareidi woman making a ridiculous request.
I saw it all happening from where I was. As my wife stood talking to her, I whipped out my cell phone, called Kupat Ha'ir and contributed NIS 180. Giving tzedakah on Yom Tov is a big zechus, you know. Besides, maybe it would help. Somehow, all these Kupat Ha'ir stories have taught me one thing: For reasons known only to Him, Hakadosh Baruch Hu has chosen this way to show us that nothing is insurmountable; nothing is irreversible. Everything depends on His will. If you do what Hashem wants of you – and so many times, what Hashem wants of you is to remember Him and contribute to Kupat Ha'ir – Hakadosh Baruch Hu helps you. You can't argue with fact. You offer a tefillah up to Shamayim, you contribute to Kupat Ha'ir – and Hashem helps. It really works that way.
"My wife kept pleading, though she clearly sensed her words were falling on deaf ears. Suddenly the officer told her, 'You know what? Okay. I give you permission. My name's Ilana. When you get stopped along the way – and you will, you can be sure – tell them that I gave you permission.'
"My wife returned to the car and told me to begin driving. We traveled maybe twenty meters and came across another large group of officers.
"They stopped me angrily."Hey, you! How did you get so far? All handicapped vehicles were stopped back there!'
"And I said, 'I have permission from Officer Ilana.'
"They didn't believe me. They contacted her on their radio and she confirmed that she had indeed given us permission.
"We went on. A hundred meters later, we were stopped again. Once more, the officers were angry. Once more, they didn't believe me. When we said, 'Ilana,' they were astounded but they didn't dare allow us to pass without checking with her first. 'I gave them permission; let them go ahead,' she told them, and we went ahead.
Every time this happened, I said to myself, This time it's not going to work. But it did – and how it worked! All barriers were removed for us. It was like we had a magic password that removed all obstacles.
That's really what it was. We had a magic password: Kupat Ha'ir. Of course, we knew it wasn't Kupat Ha'ir that was helping; it was Hashem. Hashem wants us to contribute to Kupat Ha'ir. In the face of such arguments, Rav S had nothing to say.
They pulled out of the Kosel parking area, the only car on the road with the exception of an occasional patrol car. One solitary driver in the off-limits area. A solitary driver, did we say? Not quite. Levi is not alone. Kupat Ha'ir was with him, which meant Hashem was with him, too.
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