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

Who Will Enjoy Tranquility and Who Will Suffer

The doctor regarded them gravely. A young father, his even younger wife, a baby. And the timing was so difficult…
“I think we’d best send your wife home to care for the baby,” he said. “Is there anyone else who can come be with you?”
The young man stared at him, eyes large with fear. “Why… why do you think I need someone to be with me?”
“Because you’re going to be admitted to the hospital now, and I imagine that within an hour or two, you’ll be seeing the inside of the OR,” the doctor said slowly. Now the two of them were staring at him.
“It’s pikuach nefesh, ma’am, don’t you understand? He needs a hospital urgently. Can’t you see what kind of pain he’s in? He can barely carry himself.”
It was true. After twelve hours of terrible, nearly unbearable pain, Mordechai could hardly breathe. He kept clenching his lips to keep from crying out in pain. But surgery? What surgery, where surgery? How had this happened to them out of the blue? In another few hours, Klal Yisrael would usher in the holiest day of the year – and where were they? The unexplained pains had begun the previous day and they’d hoped the problem would go away on is own as suddenly as it had come. And now the doctor was talking about surgery!
In the meantime, the doctor typed the information into his computer and the printer spewed forth page after page.
“Which hospital do you prefer?” the doctor asked.
They looked at one another. Young twenty-two-year-olds don’t yet know how to answer such questions on their own. She felt her husband’s terrible weakness begin to affect her as well.
“I don’t have time to wait for you to make up your minds” the doctor said impatiently. “Here is the paperwork you need for either hospital that comes into consideration. If you want to arrive at the hospital by taxi rather than by ambulance, I suggest you hurry up. Make a decision and go. And another thing: don’t eat or drink anything, so you’ll be able to have the surgery.” He couldn’t even think of food. Who can eat when he’s writhing in pain?
Panicking, Esther called her mother. Her sister came running to the hospital top ick up the baby. Rabbi Chananya Cholak answered his phone on the first ring, listened to Mordechai’s explanation and advised him which hospital to go to. Amidst great pain, Mordechai and his wife took a taxi to the hospital.
It was late already. Throughout the country, Yidden were sitting down to partake of the seudas hamafsekes, while they were looking at hospitalization and surgery on Yom Kippur. They were having a hard time accepting it. Morechai bowed his head and allowed the tears to flow freely. The pain, the need to maintain control, the fear in his heart, the awful feeling of utter helplessness… it was just too much.
“Can I use your cell phone a moment?” Mordechai asked the driver in a choked voice.
The driver handed him the phone wordlessly.  It wasn’t every day he drove a sobbing young couple. Who knew what kind of disaster had befallen them?
Mordechai dialed Kupat Ha’ir. His wife heard him give the secretary his credit card number and marveled that he was still in a condition to remember such a long string of numbers.
“Submit by name to Rav Chaim Kanievsky,” he whispered through his tears. “Ask him to daven for me right now. Don’t wait for when he davens for all the contributors, right before sundown!”
He handed the cell phone back to the driver.
“May you merit a gemar chatimah tovah,” the driver said, looking at the weepy young couple with great pity. “Hashem’s salvation comes in the blink of an eye, don’t forget.” Mordechai was crying so hard he couldn’t even reply. His wife counted out the fare and handed it to the driver.
The emergency room was packed. So many people were waiting! There wasn’t a chance in the world they’d be seen before Yom Kippur began.
We’re headed for surgery in any case, Mordechai read his wife’s mind. You heard what our doctor said… and he’s a very good doctor.
She and Mordechai sank into chairs, Mordechai groaning audibly. What was going on? How could pain so agonizing take over a perfectly healthy man so suddenly? The line moved very, very slowly while the hands on the clock seemed to fly. Mordechai was forbidden to eat while his wife couldn’t bring herself to put a thing in her mouth. Soon the fast would begin… What would be with them? Both sets of parents were hysterical with fear but they could do nothing to help. Who can leave his house at such a tense and pressured time?
A middle-aged doctor passing through the emergency room told them to go to the ward. “It’s so crowded here. They’re already in ‘Shabbat mode’ at the ward, but there’s a doctor on duty. You’ll get seen faster that way. You’re religious people; it’s a shame you should be stuck here all Yom Kippur.”
They made their way to the ward.
The doctor on duty was kind and attentive and Mordechai and his wife felt they were in good hands. The emergency room was staffed by interns and bleary-eyed residents who could barely keep their eyes open after a 24-hour shift.  This doctor was alert and competent.
“You don’t need surgery,” he declared after examining Mordechai. “You’re suffering from a severe infection and that’s what’s causing you such pain. What you need is a strong antibiotic, even an oral one. I think we can discharge you.”
The doctor rose and escorted Mordechai to a bed so he could rest until his paperwork was ready. There was not a nurse in sight at this late erev Yom Kippur hour. Mordechai and his wife were so relieved at the news that they would be discharged that they failed to realize they still had a serious hurdle to overcome.
By time they left the hospital, papers in hand, candle-lighting time was forty minutes away. Forty minutes… The streets were empty. A nearby taxi station was closed. Mordechai could barely walk. How would they get home?
“We contributed to Kupat Ha’ir,” Mordechai murmured. “Reb Chaim must have davened for me. We were miraculously discharged from the hospital, after all. The One Who helped us until now will continue to do so.”
But another few minutes ticked by and nothing happened.
“Contribute again,” his wife urged.
“Who knows if they’re still open?” Mordechai replied, dialing.
“Kupat Ha’ir, how can I help you?”
They were still open! Kupat Ha’ir has people manning the phones until Kol Nidrei.
“I’d like to contribute NIS 180, and in that merit, may we be able to return to Bnei Brak quickly!”
He had barely completed the sentence when a private ambulance pulled up.
“Can you take us home?” Mordechai asked hopefully.
The driver nodded.
“How… how much will it cost us?”
“A trip by ambulance is NIS 560. I’m not a taxi driver, you know.”
Their faces fell. They didn’t have that much money on them, nor did they have it at home. What should they do? Accept the ride and then begin knocking on neighbors’ doors, asking for a loan during the final moments before Kol Nidrei? How would they return a sum so large? On the other hand – how could they desecrate the holiest day of the year? What did Hashem want them to do?
Suddenly, a secular Jew approached, an angry expression on his face. “I heard what the ambulance driver told you. What’s the matter, can’t he give someone a lift at such a time without charging the crazy-steep ambulance fee? It’s not as if you need any special equipment! Come with me, I’ll take you for free. But hurry, it’s almost Yom Kippur.”
They stared at him as if he were a redeeming angel. Who was he? Where had he come from? How had he overheard their conversation with the driver?
Mordechai hobbled over to the car and eased himself in. His wife took the back seat.
“I live in Ramat Gan, so Bnei Brak’s just a short detour for me,” the driver explained. “It’s really not a big deal. I couldn’t bear the way the ambulance driver tried to extort you!”
They arrived home just in time to grab a quick bite and usher in the holy day. Mordechai was in no condition to go to shul in any case.
Apparently, Reb Chaim really did pray for them, and the power of their tzedakah pushed that prayer directly to the Heavenly Throne. There can be no other explanation for such mind-boggling miracles.
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