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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

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“Abba, you remembered to take along the tickets, right?”
Yechiel couldn’t wait. He and his siblings had been waiting six months for this day. How many dreams he had woven; what high hopes he had. Today was the day Abba was taking all the children on a long-awaited trip!
No one accused him of being a nudnik for asking the same question fifty times. Everyone felt like doing the same thing, only they were too shy. Such big boys acting like enthusiastic little kids…. Abba smiled indulgently at nine-year-old Yechiel.
“Everything’s in order, Chilik. Would you like to hold onto the tickets, just to be on the safe side?”
“No, I don’t dare,” Yechiel replied. “I might lose them.” He just wanted to see them.
“Okay, bring me my suit and I’ll show them to you,” his father said agreeably. Today was the kids’ day. They’d been waiting for it a long time; it was okay for them to be overly excited. He knew the others could barely contain their excitement, either. It was a long way from their house to their destination. They had to take two busses, altogether too much bother for such impatient customers.
“Where’s your suit?” Chilik asked, shaking out the pile of suits for the second time. He could identify his father’s suit among a pile of others, but it wasn’t there. He was sure of it; it wasn’t there! The bus was half empty and his older brothers had heaped their suits on one seat and placed their hats on another. Chilik began to feel tense.
“Moishy, go help him,” Abba requested. He remembered from the time he was a boy how a terrific trip could be ruined by a few cynical wisecracks from older, smart-alec brothers. Kids were sensitive creatures; you had to be considerate of them. It wasn’t enough to take them on a trip. You had to be sensitive to feelings of tension, apprehension, fear and any other emotion they might be experiencing.
“Abba, your suit really isn’t here!” Moishy exclaimed. He was older and surer of himself. “Maybe it’s next to you? Maybe you put it across your knees and it slipped onto the floor?”
The other passengers turned around to look at them. The driver glanced at his mirror. What was the ruckus all about?
All the brothers tackled the pile of suits on the seat. “Everyone should take his own suit, first of all,” Abba announced. Five pairs of hands reached forward and the seat was emptied in a flash. Abba was left standing in his white shirt.
Seven heads bent down to the floor of the bus. Seven disappointed heads popped back up nearly simultaneously. No suit.
“The baggage compartment?” one brother suggested.
No one had opened the baggage compartment. Still, at the next stop, one of the bachurim leaped down and checked. He returned empty-handed, as expected.
“How much was each ticket?” Chilik asked.
His brothers thanked him wordlessly. They knew the answer, and they knew there was no possibility of purchasing new ones. All the spots for that day had long ago been snatched up.
“We can’t buy new tickets, Yechiel,” his father said, looking very perturbed. He preferred to have his son know the facts in advance. “My wallet, my Visa card, the house keys and a couple of important papers are all in my suit. I’m really in a pickle if I lost all those things, not to mention the suit itself. Let’s see what we can do to get them back.” He withdrew his cell phone from his pocket. It was a good thing he had that with him, at least.
It was clear that Abba had left the house with his suit. Apparently, it had been left behind when they’d switched busses. Abba dialed Egged’s Lost & Found department, where the clerk told him that no one had brought in a suit that day. It was possible that the bus had not yet reached the end of its route. One couldn’t expect to locate a lost item on a bus in middle of the day.
Moishy went to discuss the situation with the driver.
“He says we should stay on the bus until the final stop because there we might be able to find the first bus we traveled on, if it finished its rounds for the day,” Moishy reported. “He says it’s a long shot but maybe that’s better than nothing.”
It was better than nothing.
All at once, the passing scenery lost its appeal. The tickets were gone and the chances of locating them were poor. New tickets were out of the question. They were now traveling for a “maybe.” Chilik was near tears and his brothers, too, felt like crying. It was beneath their dignity to burst into sobs because of plans gone awry but the disappointment was so difficult to bear.
The chitchat and pleasant conversation they had been enjoying before all but stopped completely. Each of them was absorbed in his own thoughts, waiting for the trip to be over and preparing himself for the fact that very shortly, they’d simply board a bus traveling back in the direction of home. Goodbye dreams.
“How about we contribute to Kupat Ha’ir?” one of the bachurim asked.
Suddenly, everyone sprang to life. All at once, anticipation was rekindled in their hearts. Would they find the tickets or not? At least there was some action. If they found the tickets – great, what could be better? They’d enjoy themselves at their destination and have a great story to tell, too. And if they didn’t find them, well, that would be a terrible shame, but at least they’d have proof that not everyone who contributes finds what he’s looking for. It was a controversial topic and this time, they’d have what to say on the subject. Oh, yes, they’d have plenty to say. Their father saw the spark of interest in their eyes. He deliberated for a moment and then gave his agreement.
They contributed to Kupat Ha’ir.
“What now? We find the bus and the tickets are there?” Chilik asked.
“We don’t give eitzos (advice) to Hakadosh Baruch Hu,” Abba explained patiently. “He doesn’t need our ideas. We contributed in order to augment our merit in Shamayim. If Hashem wants, He’ll send us the tickets or enable us to find them. If not, He won’t. The contribution is not a hocus-pocus magic charm. It just increases Hashem’s love for us, so that we’ll be more eligible for His Divine assistance.” The brothers listened with half an ear.
“The tzedakah organizations do make it sound like a magic charm,” one brother noted. “I contributed and I saw a yeshuah,” or something like that. It’s almost like a vending machine. You insert a contribution and out pops a yeshuah.” He accompanied his words with an appropriate gesture and everyone smiled.
“Tzedakah brochures are one thing and reality is another,” Abba explained once again. “Tzedakah is neither a vending machine nor an ATM machine. Hashem loves the mitzvah of tzedakah. When someone contributes and believes in the power of his contribution more than he believes in Hashem, he’s making the contribution his idol, G-d forbid. We contributed but we believe in Hashem and only Hashem. We believe in Him no matter what He decides to do to us, whether we see a yeshuah or not.”
“But we do hope Hashem will give us back the tickets, right?”
They all smiled again. If only they could all say what was on their minds the way Chilik could…
The bus stopped at a traffic light. In the other lane, directly parallel to their bus, another bus stopped as well. They didn’t even notice how familiar it looked.
Suddenly, the driver of the other bus stuck his head out the window and shouted to his friend and colleague, the driver of their bus: “Tell me, that religious family sitting on your bus – weren’t they on my bus earlier? I think they forgot something on my bus.”
All at once, they understood what was happening and ran forward.
Yes, without a doubt… this was the driver of the first bus!
“My father left his suit on your bus,” Moishy called out through the window. “Can you pull over to the side for a moment?”
Both busses stopped and Moishy leaped out at the speed of light. He crossed the street and raced over to the other bus.
“I just suddenly spotted you sitting there,” the driver said. “I have no idea how. All religious people always look identical to me.  I never can tell you guys apart.”
“Thank you so much,” Moishy said, practically hugging the driver. In his hand was his father’s suit, and in the pocket was his wallet. In the wallet were the tickets! 

“May Hashem bless you with the opportunity to do many mitzvos,” he wished the driver effusively. “You’ve made us all happier than you can ever imagine. May Hashem make you happy, too,” Moishy said sincerely as he leaped down the stairs. He crossed the street again, waving the suit with all his might as his brother watched with bated breath from the windows.
The driver waited for him along with his family and the other passengers, who had been following the drama closely. He boarded the bus, glowing like the sun on a summer’s day.
“The wallet, the money, the tickets – everything’s intact,” he reported, panting for breath. “It’s incredible. The driver said all religious people look alike to him. He can’t imagine how he recognized us.”
“We know!” Chilik cried, ecstatic. “We don’t give Hashem ideas… He has the best ideas of all! Would you have dreamed up such a solution?
“We just contribute to Kupat Hair and leave the rest up to Him.”
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