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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

The Golden Contribution

"Don׳t forget to bring the becher.”
Binyamin wouldn’t forget. Minda knew he wouldn’t, but she reminded him anyhow. The becher was such an integral part of the event that it was impossible to leave the house without mentioning it. She’d polished it two days ago already, rubbing and buffing it until it gleamed like new. As she worked, she’d read every name engraved upon it. The names of her parents and those of her husband’s appeared on the bottom, near the stem, inside the delicately etched roots. Her name and her husband’s were in the broad trunk and all her children’s names and those of their spouses, as well as her grandchildren’s names and those of their spouses comprised the branches. Even the great-grandchildren’s names appeared in tiny, adorable leaves. It was a true work of art and extremely valuable.
A golden goblet, Minda thought to herself with pleasure. Had her children had the same work done on a silver goblet, which would have cost far less, she’d have thanked them from the bottom of her heart. It wouldn’t have dawned on her that there could be anything better. But her children, they should be well, were always looking for ways to gladden their parents hearts in the best way possible.
“We’ve already bought you a silver becher for your silver anniversary,” they had explained. “For your golden anniversary you deserve a golden becher!” The golden becher had been the highlight of the special celebration they had prepared in honor of their parents’ fiftieth anniversary. A golden goblet is not something you see every day – certainly not one so large and even more certainly not one with such intricate work on it!
Minda and Binyamin guarded the becher carefully. They never tired of looking at it, of running their fingers over the engraved names and sighing with gratitude to Hashem, Who had rescued her from Block 4 and her husband from the forest, bringing them to Eretz Yisrael to raise such a large and beautiful family.
On leil haseder, the golden goblet served as Kos shel Eliyahu. Taller and more beautiful than any of the silver goblets they’d collected over the years, it stood proudly in middle of the table, where the grandchildren stared at it in awe. Minda and Binyamin also made sure to bring the goblet with them to the weddings of their grandchildren, where it was used under the chuppah. When it wasn’t in use, the goblet was kept hidden in a fireproof safe along with other valuables.
It was only before a wedding that Minda would withdraw the goblet, polish it and remind Binyamin to take it along to the wedding. Quite a number of years had passed since their golden anniversary and quite a few weddings, ken yirbu, had been celebrated with their goblet, the golden goblet. It had even made a trip across the ocean, with no small amount of apprehension on Minda’s part, and returned home safely, thank G-d.
The goblet was no longer merely a symbol of their children’s love and concern, of Minda’s and Binyamin’s joy at the family with which Hashem had blessed them, of their gratitude that their respective families’ legacy had not been cut off completely during the Holocaust. It had already become a part of their very essence, their very selves.
At the conclusion of the chuppah at the Wagschall Hall in Bnei Brak, after the happy couple had gone to the yichud room and the guests were streaming back into the hall, Binyamin looked for the goblet – and couldn’t find it.
“What do you mean, it disappeared?” Minda asked, feeling dizzy. “I don’t understand. Was it under the chuppah or wasn’t it?”
“It was, Savta.”
“And were the brachos recited over it or not?”
‘They were, Savta.”
“And the person who recited the brachos – was he a real live person or perhaps Eliyahu Hanavi?”
“Shh… it was the Rosh Yeshiva, Savta.”
“Well? Where did he put it when he was done? He couldn’t have drunk the goblet, too, after all!”
“It was passed to the kallah, who drank from it, and then to the parents, and then… and then we don’t know to whom!”
“So ask!” Minda’s voice rose. “This is not a safety pin we’re talking about. It should be easy to see It’s just moments after the chuppah! Go ask everyone who drank what he did with it Quick, before it really gets lost!”
They asked. And how they asked. Instead of washing their hands and sitting down to the seudas mitzvah, everyone was preoccupied with the lost goblet. The mechutanim heard what was going on and expressed how sorry they felt, but then turned to receive their guests.
Binyamin, on the men’s side, and Minda on the women’s, were inconsolable. They watched anxiously as their children and grandchildren questioned everyone and searched over and over again. And they saw as all the searchers eventually raised their hands in despair. The goblet was gone.
The chassan and kallah entered the hall. The orchestra swung into action and the dancing was lively. But Minda’s distress did not dissipate. On the contrary, it deepened with each passing moment. Minda refused to join the dancing; she only just barely refrained from weeping openly. Binyamin danced as if possessed, his eyes darting all over as he continued searching. The golden goblet; their golden goblet!
“Abba, I spoke to everyone,” Binyamin’s oldest son told him. “Don’t take it so too heart. We’ll buy you a new goblet, the very same thing. You won’t know the difference!”
But Binyamin shook his head sadly. “Twenty-one of my grandchildren have already been married with the goblet,” he said. “We’ve celebrated seven Pesachs with it. How can a new goblet ever be the same? A replacement is never the same as an original. If it’s lost, then what it symbolized is lost as well.”
“What makes you say that, Abba?” Binyamin’s son asked in distress. “Baruch Hashem, the family is alive and well. The goblet is eitzim va’avanim, inanimate. Nothing is lost. We’ll buy a new becher! It’s not worth getting so upset about.”
But Binyamin was upset, terribly so. He asked Minda what she thought and was not surprised when she reacted exactly as he had. After fifty-seven years together, they saw things the same way.
The wedding was almost over. Most of the guests had left; the orchestra was packing up. Minda sat on a chair on the side, silent and withdrawn, her eyes downcast. On the other side of the mechitzah, Binyamin, exhausted, barely managed to shake the hands of the grandchildren as they came to tell him goodbye.
“We’ve got to do something,” the sons told one another. “Abba has aged twenty years tonight! We shouldn’t have bought them a gift that they could grow so attached to.”
The oldest daughter had a brainstorm. “We’ll tell them that tomorrow or the next day we’re bringing the police over to search the hall with specially trained dogs. In the meantime, we’ll order another such a goblet. We’ll have the artisan work throughout the night. He earned good money seven years ago. I’m sure he’ll be pleased to do so again!”
“You’re dreaming,” her sisters-in-law informed her. “First of all, Ima knows every line on the goblet by heart. She’ll discover our deception immediately. Besides, it took the artisan three weeks last time. What makes you think he can do it in a night or two?”
Minda was in a different world. She heard not a word of the discussion. Binyamin’s heart broke at the thought of her anguish in addition to his own. He knew his son was right: he ought to be grateful that it was only the goblet that was lost while his family was healthy, but…
The younger sons and a few of the grandchildren began searching every centimeter of the hall and the courtyard. They left no stone unturned. They checked the entire hotel, the kitchen, the dressing rooms. Maybe, just maybe, the goblet would still turn up.
When even their best efforts proved fruitless, someone suddenly remembered Kupat Ha’ir.
“Where are our brains?” he exclaimed, clapping a hand to his forehead. “If  Kupat Ha’ir were created for this situation only – dayeinu! If we find the becher still tonight, I’m contributing…” He specified a generous amount of money, a very generous amount indeed. He couldn’t bear to see his parents’ distress. He was prepared to do everything in his power to see them happy once more.
The family stood around, holding their breaths. Binyamin and Minda sat side by side, waiting for a taxi to take them home. Alone, without the becher.
“Why is everyone so quiet?” asked the son who had made the pledge. “What’s the matter, doesn’t anyone believe in the Ribono shel Olam anymore? Don’t you think He has the power to perform miracles? Don’t you think that if tzedakah has the power to rescue from death, it can return a lost goblet?”
“A lost goblet, did you just say?”
An unfamiliar avreich stood in the doorway to the hall. “Might this belong to you?” And he held out the golden goblet! Just like that, as if it were a play rehearsed in advance down to the tiniest details.
The avreich explained that he had just left a simchah taking place in Hall B at Wagschall’s. For some reason (which reason?) he had walked through Hall C, which was empty that evening, and a package had caught his eye. He’d looked inside and discovered a very valuable item and he was trying to find the owner.
Perhaps one of the non-Jewish workers had taken it and hidden it with the intention of returning for it after he finished his job for the night. Perhaps there is a different explanation. Who knows? And what difference does it make, really?
One grandchild asked a question that reverberated through everyone’s mind a long time after the simchah was over: 
“Couldn’t we have taken this simple step as soon as it was discovered the goblet was lost? Is’nt it a shame that Sabba and Savta couldn’t enjoy the wedding?”
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