Certain situations call for action- not philosophizing. A critically ill child. A father on the operating table. An oncoming train –and someone's fallen on the tracks. A child with a screwdriver approaching an electrical outlet. There are moments that you simply act- without thinking twice, without making calculations. Everyone knows that at these moments, "he who hesitates is lost..."
Now is a similar time. We are aware enough to see the blinking red "DANGER" lights in front of our eyes. Now! Now, when the scales are rising and falling, and we know our lives are hanging in the balance! Now, when it is completely clear to us that nothing is certain, that everything we have can be taken from us in one terrible moment. Now is a moment when we are prepared to do anything and everything to save all that is dear to us, and rightly so. It is about such a moment that Maran Sar HaTorah HaGaon R' Chaim Kanievsky shlit"a has written "The greatest merit that it is possible to obtain with one's money before Yom HaDin is giving tzedaka to Kupat Ha'ir, and the best tzedaka to tear up an evil decree is tzedaka to Kupat Ha'ir."
In these moments we cling to what the Gedolei HaDor have instructed us to do, in no uncertain terms. This is the most mehudar tzedaka that it is possible to do with one's money; the greatest merit it is possible to obtain through money; the tremendous power that can weigh the scales down to the side of merit – this is tzedaka to Kupat Ha'ir.
Are we the ones saying this? No. He says it- Maran Sar HaTorah HGR' Chaim Kanievsky shlit"a. His letter is in front of us- no one can say "I didn't know." No one can say "I didn't understand." Happy is he who acts in time; a rachmanus on he who doesn't…
There is no need to remind us how precious life is. Sadly, there is no need to tell us how life could turn into Gehinnom, Heaven forbid. Each one of us can easily remember heartbreaking separations he experienced this past year, tragedies and almost-tragedies he witnessed, memories of which still shock him, Hashem yerachem. No one needs to shout in our ears; indeed, we are the ones shouting; we are the ones pleading, "Throw us a rope to grab onto and save ourselves from the storm!"
Kupat Ha'ir needs us?! We need it!! Hashem has enough to give to everyone. We need to seize it, to use it for protection, that it should weigh down the scale for us on the side of merit. Are we going to grab this lifeline that has been thrown to us, and fulfill the directives of the Gedolei HaDor? We just need to clutch it tightly and tie ourselves to it, we and our dear ones. We need to enwrap ourselves in the protective vest of Kupat Ha'ir.
Whoever merits- will live.