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Main  >  The Needy  >  A story of twin girls

The Needy

A story of twin girls

Abba, Ima and twin girls.
A normal, ordinary household, bli ayin hara. Cute, well-cared for kids and likeable parents. The father serves as a meishiv in a yeshivah during the evening hours and the mother is a homemaker. There are fourteen children, ranging in age from six months to nineteen years old.
The monthly budget requires a degree in engineering! Only a genius could figure out how to cram all the family’s needs into the existing framework of funds. There’s not an extra penny to be had. Every coin is spent exactly as planned. If a five-shekel coin is lost, someone will have to walk rather than use the bus. Anyone who can’t understand how it is possible to live that way should know that theoretically, Kupat Ha’ir could provide him with a long list of families who live precisely as described. When the washing machine died, this family borrowed money to pay for a new one and then repaid the loan with a hundred shekel per month. During those months, they made do without certain basic necessities at home. They bought one kilogram less fish each week, or one chicken for Shabbos instead of two (remember, we’re talking about 16 people!). They struggled, thanked Hashem for what they had and went on. People knew they didn’t have it easy but that they were scraping by. Sounds good?
Nighttime.
The mother left the room. Two fourth-graders longing to go on a class trip she couldn’t afford to pay for. There was nothing she could scrimp on in order to make it possible for them to join. They were such good girls, so understanding and undemanding. They made no trouble about wearing hand-me-downs or making do with the bare minimum. But the trip – the trip was something else.
She found them zipping up their backpacks and placing bottles of water in the freezer.
“Girls…?” She didn’t know what to say.
“Ima, we know there’s no money,” one of the twins says, looking at her shoes, “but maybe…”
“Maybe what?” Her voice sounds a bit harsher than she intended.
“Maybe Hashem will make a nes for us?”
A lump forms in their mother’s throat. What should she say?
She tells her husband and neither of them have a single word to say to one another. The night passes slowly. He tosses and turns; she turns her pillow over again and again. True, parents must be strong, but even parents have their breaking point.  In the morning, both parents hear hesitant whispers. The girls have risen. The mother rises and peeks out of her room. The girls are dressed, their hair brushed as they sit near the table on which the telephone rests. Would their yeshuah come in time?
Fortunately, their teachers figured out, at the last moment, the reason why the twins hadn’t shown up for the trip. They called home, told the mother that payment had been arranged and had the bus pass by the girls’ house to pick them up. The girls’ joy knew no bounds. But that evening they wrote a letter to Kupat Ha’ir.
The situation Kupat Ha’ir found when it stepped in to investigate was not very encouraging at all.
Dental treatments had been delayed time and time again. Urgent plumbing problems hadn’t been taken care of, making life unbearably difficult. Food was minimal; the children were not allowed to help themselves to anything – not even an additional slice of bread – on their own.
No nosh, no prizes, no gifts, no new clothing, no trips, no traveling anywhere on Chol Hamoed, no and no and no. Is it possible to raise emotionally healthy children this way?
The parents have done everything in their power.
Now we need to do everything in our power!

 
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