When Almost Is More Than Good Enough – By Yisroel Besser


(By Yisroel Besser. Columnist, Mishpacha Magazine, Best-selling author, and Co-founder, MKY)

At a time of year in which reminders are so important and everybody’s looking for messages, Klal Yisroel got such a heartening, refreshing reminder on Wednesday night.

Earlier this week Torah Umesorah started their annual campaign, a campaign with an ambitious goal of $10 million dollars needed to fund an umbrella organization that carries 400,000 kinderlach, in over 800 schools.

An organization that inspires, encourages, motivates, trains, and bolsters the efforts of our most precious national resource – our mechanchim and mechanchos. Not just them, but school personnel at every rung of the ladder. From Hanhallah, to lay leaders, to the staff, to the support staff, everybody benefits from the efforts and endeavors of Torah Umesorah.

Giving money to Torah Umesorah during the days of Yemai Horachamim strengthen our cry of Avinu Malkainu Asay Lmaan tinokos shel bais rabon.

The campaign was unique. It featured people reaching out from all walks of frum life. You had people sending you the link from Wiliamsburg, and Teaneck. And everybody was equally passionate because every single one of them and their children are being served by this vital organization, by the work of Torah Umesorah. Everybody meant it personally. Nobody was going through the motions. It was a beautiful campaign, powered by tremendous passion and sincerity.

$10 million is a lot of money, but people looked on in amazement as the numbers climbed  – thousands, became tens of thousands, became hundreds of thousands, became millions. Slowly but surely.

But then on Wednesday night as the campaign neared its end, a funny thing happened. 7 million, 7.5 million. That’s a long way from 10 million. It wrapped up at 8 million.

We’ll match, double match, triple match. But guess what? They didn’t make the goal. They didn’t make the goal!

How disappointing.

What a sad ending to so much work, right?

Actually, wrong.

Chinuch at the core is about a single message. Every single day we tell our children it doesn’t make a difference what you get on the test. What makes a difference is how hard you try. It doesn’t make a difference if you won the ball game, what makes a difference? if you played with dignity and sincerity and you acted like a mentch. It doesn’t make a difference who the valedictorian is, what makes a difference is, who gave it all.

The people at Torah Umesorah and their good friends put it all on the line for this campaign. They worked, they networked, they reached deep into themselves, they did things they thought they would never do. Called people they thought they would never call. They did everything they possibly could.

So, when they went home on Wednesday night, it was with a tremendous sense of pride, dignity, and a very good feeling about the message they’re sending.

Because it’s the message that we send our children every single day. A message that they make possible every single day.

Now, could they have found a way to meet the goal? Yeah, there are ways to use your matchers and double and triple donations to make sure that you don’t suffer the indignation of not meeting your goal.

Of course, there are, but first of all, Torah and Mesorah are primarily about emes and truth, so that’s not negotiable.

And Chinuch is about effort.

Chinuch is not about the goals.

Chinuch is not about where you get to, but how you get there.

So, it’s never been a prouder moment for Torah Umesorah.

They are here to save Klal Yisroel.

So Thank you Klal Yisroel for your help.

It was a great campaign.

They raised a lot of money Boruch Hashem

They got a lot of donations boruch Hashem

I hope they felt a lot of love and appreciation from the tzibur

They stood by their values.

It’s not about winning, but about how hard you try.

The goal is not $10 million, but it’s to fight as hard as you know how to.

Thank you Klal Yisroel

And Thank you Torah Umesorah!!

And this zechus Klal Yisroel carries with them to the Yom Hadin.

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)


  1. Wow! Thank you Rabbi Besser for such a beautiful well written article. What a beautiful perspective to have on such a situation. This amazing message resonates not just in regards to chinuch but to every situation in life. Thank you!

  2. As a mechaneches with over 30 years of classroom teaching under my belt, I take offense to the fact that TU gave the impression that these 10 million dollars will directly affect our Rebbeim and Moros and that TU gets the credit for the hard work done by my colleagues, menahalos and me. Truth be told, our school would be the same excellent school it is regardless if TU exists or not and any talmidos or parents who would want to show הכרת הטוב would be better served by donating their money directly to the mosdos they have benefited from.

  3. Torah Umesorah does some decent work helping schools in certain areas but saying that they are “saving klal yisrael” is nothing short of over the top exaggeration. We have enough slick hyped up marketing campaigns let’s avoid hyperbole.

    Torah Umesorah missed their fundraising target. How in the world is that a Chinich moment? What great values did anyone exhibit by trying and falling short? It happens every day to many people. It is basic to the human condition. What else could the people in this campaign
    do? Cheat and falsify amounts? Do we really need to praise our institutions for not fooling people into thinking that they met their goals. Is that really deserving of an article?