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

Just Like in the Kupat Ha׳ir Stories

The situation was very unpleasant, to put it mildly.

All month long she’d been feeling guilty and upset. Every incoming phone call made her simultaneously leap forward and recoil. Every morning she hoped that maybe, maybe today her request would finally be considered. But she’d been completely unprepared for the eventuality that her request would be granted immediately – and she simply wasn’t ready!

Why was it that everything seemed to be going wrong?

Rivka tried to take stock of the situation and do the best thing possible under the circumstances. She couldn’t allow this opportunity to slip through her fingers. She’d fly to France even if she could only be there for twenty-four hours.

But what a shame that would be!

It had all begun a few weeks ago.

Savta Rina, Rivka’s beloved grandmother, had finally agreed to come visit her in Eretz Yisrael. They hadn’t seen one another for five years. Rivka had given birth to three children in that space of time and Savta had never seen them. All the telephone calls and pictures and letters in the world couldn’t replace a real live meeting.

Rivka was Savta’s oldest grandchild and the two shared an exceptionally close relationship. For five years, Rivka had missed her grandmother terribly. Now she was finally going to come spend some time with her family.

In France, the long-awaited trip took center stage in Savta Rina’s life. She spent hours shopping for her granddaughter and her children. Rivka’s taste was very refined, Savta knew, so she chose her gifts with great care. Toys, clothing, decorative knick-knacks for the house – her suitcase grew steadily fuller with each passing day, along with her anticipation and excitement.

In Eretz Yisrael, Rivka drew a large calendar showing the number of days to Savta’s arrival and hung it on the fridge. Every day, the children crossed off another box. Rivka and her husband prepared a beautiful room for Savta to stay in. Rivka cleaned the house as if it was erev Pesach, organizing closets and shining windows and mirrors. She cooked and baked up a storm, filling her freezer with Savta’s favorite foods.

When the big day grew closer, Rivka drew a huge Brucha Haba’ah sign and had the children color it. They blew balloons and decorated the house with bows and flowers.

The meeting at the airport was every bit as wonderful as Rivka had imagined it. The two hugged and kissed emotionally. Arriving in Jerusalem, Savta saw every nook and cranny of Rivka’s apartment. Most importantly, she beamed with nachas from Rivka and the children. They talked and laughed and completed each other’s sentences and shared memories and stories. What could be better?

But the idyllic situation did not last long. The following day, the family set out with Savta to the Kosel Hama’aravi. En route, the car smashed into a light pole and shook wildly from side to side. Miraculously, there were no casualties. The passengers, Savta included, suffered only painful bumps and bruises.

After spending hours in the emergency room, Savta returned to Rivka’s apartment, limping and in pain. The lovely visit had lost all its charm in one awful moment. Savta had no patience for presents or grandchildren, stories or photos. She wanted to be back home as soon as possible, in her own bed, in her own surroundings, under her doctor’s supervision. The visit was cut short, leaving everyone with a terrible feeling. Rivka was beside herself.

Savta boarded the first plane back to France and Rivka, aside from the terrible feeling of unpleasantness, sensed that Savta was annoyed with her. The feeling was more than she could bear.

She had asked her boss for permission to take a week-long vacation. She felt she had to fly to France to be with Savta - to go with her to the doctor, pick up her test results, buy her medication, cook and bake for her and most importantly, to just be with her. To somehow make up for the visit gone awry. She owed it to Savta; she had to do it for herself. She could find no rest until she did.

But it never occurred to her that she would be granted a vacation “beginning today.” Her passport was no longer valid; it would take a few days for her to arrange all her documents and order a suitable ticket. But in the meantime, her week’s vacation was going to waste! It was impossible to submit another request or ask for a delay.

Rivka made a few frantic phone calls to friends who knew the ropes. There was not a chance in the world, she was told, to obtain a passport on the spot at the Jerusalem branch of the Ministry of Interior. The procedure took a few days; if you begged and pleaded or had protektzia – the waiting time might be reduced to 48 or 72 hours. She had no connections, nor did she know how to plead with strangers. She was too shy; she knew she’d end up stammering and blushing in embarrassment.

A different option was to try the Gilo branch of the Ministry of Interior. The branch there was smaller than the one in Jerusalem and sometimes it was easier to shorten the procedure there. Rivka’s friends warned her that the Gilo branch, too, had been getting busier and busier and it was unlikely the staff there would accommodate her request - but it was worth a try.

Rivka spoke with a travel agent. There was place on a flight to France the following morning. After that there was nothing until the end of the week or the beginning of the following week.

Rivka felt a headache coming on. Tomorrow morning would be great. She’d have five days to spend with Savta, which was as it should be. But in order to leave tomorrow, she needed a passport, and time to organize the house, and to find places for the kids to stay, and to pack them, and to pack herself… how do you do all that in twenty-four hours? Worst of all, she still didn’t have a passport! She’d have to spend hours at the Ministry of Interior and even then, she needed a hefty dose of heavenly mercy to leave with a passport in hand.

She ordered a cab and she and her husband went downstairs with all the documents. Her legs trembled. Miracles happened to other people; she was sure to be disappointed. Oh, Hashem, please.

Before entering the taxi, she placed some money into the Kupat Ha’ir pushka and whispered a prayer to Hashem that she merit a miracle. She needed a yeshuah like the ones in the Kupat Ha’ir brochures, an instantaneous miracle that was completely illogical. Hashem alone knew how badly she needed this trip. He knew how badly she felt about what had happened to Savta, how disappointed she was that the visit was cut short under such circumstances. He knew how badly she wanted to go to Savta, to appease her, to warm her heart.

The driver inquired courteously where they were going.

“Gilo,” Rivka’s husband told him.

“Where in Gilo?” the driver asked as he began traveling in the right direction.

Rivka slapped her forehead. She’d forgotten to verify the exact address. “We need the Ministry of Interior,” she said. Surely someone in Gilo would be able to direct them.

“The Ministry of Interior in Gilo?” the driver asked. “What do you need there? Maybe I can help.”

Rivka’s husband explained that she needed a passport on the spot, right now. “No problem,” the driver said. “Wait a moment and I’ll arrange it.”

Rivka shrugged inwardly. Sure, the driver could help. Like he was the director of the Ministry of Interior. Right.

But when the driver said, “My sister has been working there for seven years now,” her heart leaped with hope. “She always does me favors when I ask her,” the driver added.

The driver punched some numbers into his phone and a feminine voice answered.

“Are you at work now?”

“Yes, why?”

“I’m bringing you someone who needs a passport on the spot. You hear? She needs it right now. You’ll do it for me, right? A favor for me, for my client.”

Rivka’s eyes widened. She had never seen the driver before. How had she become his client? Why was he doing this for her? And who was the woman on the on the other end of the line?

“Okay, I’ll try to arrange it. You know I’d do anything for you.”

The conversation was over. The car made its way through the outskirts of Jerusalem to Gilo.

“Go straight to my sister,” the driver instructed her. “Her name’s Riki and her booth is first to the right. Tell her I sent you. My name’s Uzi. She’ll know immediately what she has to do.”

Rivka and her husband thanked him warmly. They had no idea if their driver’s efforts on their behalf would really bear fruit, but it was nice of him to care.

When they pulled over at the Ministry of Interior, the driver offered to wait for them to return.

“You want to wait for us?” they asked in surprise. Didn’t the driver know a little bit about how things worked at the Ministry of Interior. Even if Uzi’s sister helped them, it would surely be hours before she emerged with a passport. There was certainly no sense in having the taxi wait for them.

“Didn’t you plan to take a taxi home?” the driver asked. They nodded. They had a busy day ahead of them; they had to make the most of every moment.

“Go on in and ask Riki how long it’ll take for your passport to be ready. If it’s just a few minutes, it’s worth your while. Go on, I’m waiting.”

They entered, feeling clearly that someone on High was giving them a hand. A quick glance around made it clear the branch was rather busy. Rivka approached the first clerk on the right and before she even opened her mouth, the woman asked, “Are you the person Uzi sent? Let me see your documents. Everything’s ready; you’ll have your passport in a few minutes. What I wouldn’t do for Uzi. You have no idea how he goes out of his way to help people. All you see is a cab driver with sandals and curly hair. You have no idea that he’s helped thousands of people already. He has a heart of gold. No one can say ‘no’ to him.”

Rivka handed her the folder of documents she’d prepared at home. The clerk, ignoring the person she’d been in middle of serving, withdrew the documents she needed, did some typing, signed her name - and before Rivka even had the chance to go out and tell the driver to wait, she was out, passport in hand.

Passport in hand! On the same day! Without waiting hours on end! She could make tomorrow morning’s flight and be by Savta the following afternoon. Who would have believed it?

Doesn’t this story sound like something straight out of a Kupat Ha’ir brochure?

You’ve come until this point.

You’ve recharged your spiritual batteries with emunah, devotion, concern for others, tzedakah and gemilus chassadim. You’ve participated in hair-raising experiences. Now, at this very moment, your own journey to spiritual improvement begins.

You are well equipped for the journey. You know which direction to travel in. There’s a goal – and you must make an effort to achieve it. As we told you in the introduction, there’s a reason you received this brochure. It is not for nothing that these stories were collected and printed. Hakadosh Baruch Hu created us and placed us in the very spot He wants us to be, and He makes sure to send us, wherever we may be, everything that we need in order to draw close to Him and achieve our goals.

We at Kupat Ha’ir, the place where one event follows another at the speed of light, have already seen it all. Miracles of all types, contributions of all types and the strangest stories. There is just one thing we have never, ever seen here at Kupat Ha’ir:

We have never seen anyone give tzedakah and regret it or lose out by it. Such a thing has never happened - and it never will, because we have a G-d-given promise: Tzedakah accomplishes only good. It opens additional channels through which yeshuos can flow; it generates more and more yeshuos – both “regular” and extraordinary, common and rare; and it elevates the contributors, the recipients and the “postmen,” causing them to be better Jews and to make huge strides in effecting the geulah.

You’ve joined the trip, and now you have reached the end of the brochure.

What will remain of it for you? Only what you set aside from your money, from yourself – to Hashem.

May you merit doing only good things!

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