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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.
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I Contributed and Merited Salvation – Stories of Salvation

The Repairman

Erev Pesach. The house was in terrible disarray: wherever you looked there were rags, cleaning supplies and various sundry objects no one could decide where to put away. Not a single chair was free; not a single spot on the table was unoccupied.
Mrs. D was busy emptying everything in her fridge onto the table and counters. She removed the drawers and shelves and got to work scrubbing the interior of the fridge. Even exhausting jobs come to an end, fortunately, and hours later, with the chickens on the counter in danger of defrosting, Mrs. D spread newspapers on the clean shelves. Then she inserted the refrigerator plug into the socket and waited to hear the familiar hum of the fridge as it resumed working.
Silence.
Puzzled, Mrs. D removed the plug and inserted it again. The fridge sighed lightly – and that was it.
Mrs. D waited half an hour and tried again. No luck. Apparently, she׳d scrubbed her fridge a bit too thoroughly in honor of the approaching holiday and the thermostat or the motor or whatever had been ruined.
She called a repairman. He was swamped with work and could only come the following day. In any case, it would cost her at least NIS 250 to fix the fridge.
Mrs. D was terribly upset. She could ill afford NIS 250 in addition to the regular erev Yom Tov expenses. She was beset by pangs of guilt. Why hadn׳t she been more careful? 
The D family decided, as was its custom, to promise NIS 50 to Kupat Ha׳ir if they wouldn׳t have to pay a repairman.
You think you can guess the end of this story. You׳re assuming that a moment before the repairman arrived, the fridge suddenly came back to life.
Don׳t jump to conclusions.
The chickens were completely defrosted by now. The Ds transferred their milk and cheese to a neighbor׳s fridge. The chaos in the kitchen was indescribable. The fridge still wasn׳t working. The Ds realized that they had no choice; they needed a repairman immediately. Apparently, their contribution to Kupat Ha׳ir hadn׳t been effective this time.
The Ds soon discovered that not only did they not want a repairman, the repairmen didn׳t want them… everyone was busy. No one was available. Mrs. D׳s pleas regarding the chicken that would be ruined failed to impress the overwhelmed repairmen.
In the end, late at night, they found a repairman who was willing to have a look at their fridge. He arrived, unscrewed a few screws and examined the fridge. Every few minutes, he informed the family of another problem that needed to be fixed. The cost of repairing the fridge ballooned from the initial estimate of NIS 250 to NIS 400.
Mrs. D could not stop berating herself for having been so careless. The gloomy expression on her husband׳s face as he tried to figure out where to get the money from did not help matters. Neither of them could forget the commitment they׳d made: If we won׳t have to pay a repairman, we׳ll contribute NIS 50 to Kupat Ha׳ir. How laughable. How illogical. Kupat Ha׳ir would lose out this time…


The repairman unscrewed the thermostat and brought new parts from his car. He welded a new wire near the motor. He mentioned that he had in his car a shelf to replace the one that he saw was cracked. As he worked, the repairman chatted casually with Mr. D.
״How many children do you have?״ he inquired.
״Seven,״ came the reply.
The repairman, a secular fellow, looked around him in surprise and listened to the silence. ״Seven? You׳re kidding me.״
״Come, take a look,״ Mr. D offered, pointing to the children׳s room. The repairman peeked into the room, where seven children were sleeping peacefully. He noted the bunk bed, with its two pull-out trundles reaching from wall to wall and the crib and Porta-crib, both occupied.
He returned to the kitchen with a look of shock on his face. ״If that׳s the case,״ he said, snapping the plastic piece protecting the thermostat into place, ״this repair is free.״
The Ds looked at him in confusion.
״I׳m not charging you for this job,״ the repairman explained.
Thoroughly taken aback by the strange events playing themselves out in his kitchen, Mr. D tried to murmur his gratitude. 
The man collected his tools and placed his hand in his pocket. ״I have wealthy friends in Jaffa,״ he told the Ds. ״They give me money to distribute to families who need it. You have small children. Take the money; use it to buy them food.״
He withdrew NIS 250, precisely the sum the couple had originally thought they׳d have to pay a repairman, and pressed it into Mr. D׳s hand. Then he picked up his toolbox and left.
The kitchen was silent. Only the pleasant hum of the fridge testified to the miracle that had just transpired. The couple stared at the bills they׳d received from the repairman who had fixed their fridge. Both of them recalled exactly how they had phrased their commitment to Kupat Ha׳ir: ״If we won׳t have to pay a repairman, we׳ll contribute fifty shekels to Kupat Ha׳ir.״
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