Middah Keneged Middah

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Maran Sar HaTorah Hagaon Harav Chaim Kanievsky, Shlit”a:

“One who contributes money to Kupat Ha’ir’s “Vehasirosi Machalah Mikirbecha” Fund


Every day we awake to tragic news. We all walk around with a feeling of unease, the fragility of life always with us. The older we get, the more fearful we become about our health and the health of our loved ones. When we hear of the untimely passing of a young woman or about the avreich who lost a child — our heart sinks and our fear deepens.

Notices are placed frequently on the shul bulletin board reading, “Please daven for the child…” and we silently wonder. In every cheder, in every classroom, the children daven for the refuah sheleimah of someone their own age who has been absent from school for a number of months. They cannot help but worry that they too, might not have the privilege of growing up carefree and pain-free.

Kupat Ha’ir knows this nightmare from a different angle. They see when an entire family is uprooted from its peaceful existence and thrown into a maelstrom of examinations, treatments, anxiety, never-ending trips to and from the hospital, medication and suffering. The parents can no longer work to support the family.

The practical manifestation of all this is that in addition to the health crises, the tension, fear and worry and the limited functioning of the home the children must now also endure — a financial nightmare sets in. Regular salaries peter out as less time is spent at work; parnassah becomes limited and tensions heighten as the struggle for basics like bread and milk, Shabbos necessities, transportation and even a special treat to comfort a confused sibling intensifies.

It is at this point that Kupat Ha’ir steps in.

Acting out of a deep sense of responsibility towards Klal Yisrael, and recognizing the terrible situation in which thousands of families find themselves in, Maran Hagaon Harav S. Baadani, shlit”a, and Maran Hagaon Harav Yitzchak Zilbershtein, shlit”a, visited Maran Sar HaTorah Hagaon Harav Chaim Kanievsky, shlit”a, to confer with him and receive his instructions on how to help alleviate some of the suffering and burden— and also to request a brochoh for Am Yisrael, to prevent such situations altogether.

Hashgachah pratis had arranged for Harav Chananya Cholak, shlit”a, to speak with Rav Chaim earlier that very day. Harav Cholak brought the painful news that the number of patients were increasing with incomprehensible swiftness. Young people were dying and entire families were suffering terribly.

“We must help these families, at least from a financial standpoint,” Harav Baadani said passionately. “We must support them in whatever way we can so they can care for their sick loved one with yishuv hada’as. We can’t allow these families to suffer privation on top of everything else!”

Harav Zilbershtein, shlit”a, expressed his concern to Harav Chaim as well. “The tzaros are increasing. I think we need to set up a special fund for patients and their families to alleviate some of the financial burden specifically the cost for transportation and medication. When a loved one is sick, people become so preoccupied with day to day survival they find themselves unable to even reach out for help or try and find a solution. It’s a terrible time!” he concluded, his voice laced with pain.

Harav Chaim heard — and nodded. His face registered the pain he felt at the terrible situation. He hears many firsthand accounts of families dealing with all sorts of heartbreakingly unimaginable difficult situations as people pour their hearts out to him and seek his blessing.

The terrible financial pit that is left after a person passes away sucks the mourners into indescribable poverty and distress. They can rarely mourn because they’re preoccupied with recruiting loans and trying to return them.

The face of Harav Chaim shows all of this. “Yes, a special fund should be established,” he says with conviction. “Of course. It’s a must!”

The room fell silent. The need was so obvious. How come it hadn’t been done until now?

“What can we tell those who contribute a considerable sum to this fund? What brachah does Rabbeinu extend?” asked Harav Zilbershtein, shlit”a, his voice trembling.

Maran Sar HaTorah, shlit”a, uttered four words:

“Vehasirosi es hamachalah mikirbecha!”

Short, clear, unequivocal and unhesitant, the answer came immediately – Vehasirosi es hamachalah mikirbecha!

Wow! The unasked question filled the air, and Harav Chaim heard it. In his typically minimalistic style, he added:

“One who contributes to this fund will not get sick and no one in his household will get sick!”

The breath of everyone present caught in their throats. All at once, everything was clear.

It’s simply middah keneged middah. It is how things naturally work. One who contributes significantly to a fund established to help the families of a sick person will merit not to get sick himself, nor have a member of his family be ill. Only Harav Chaim, with his ruach hakodesh, could make such a statement.

“He will not get sick and no one in his household will get sick!”

 One who contributes to a fund on behalf of the ill and their families, to a fund that will be there for them in their time of need and enable them to get through the crisis with their sanity intact — will merit, middah keneged middah, that neither he nor any member of his household will suffer in that way.

What a tremendous brochoh!

 Come to the aid of the families who have already been stricken. The effort you make on their behalf will protect you from getting sick yourselves; your worries will lessen as you connect to the brochoh of the tzaddik and internalize his message and promise.

Your contribution to the fund on behalf of the ill and their families will be like the blood smeared on the doorposts of the Jewish families in Mitzrayim on the night of the first korbon Pesach in history. It won’t allow the Destroying Angel to enter your home. It’s the highest level of security and insurance against illness.

  Contribute to the Vehasirosi fund and save your life and the lives of your loved ones.

These are not just words nor empty promises. They were uttered by Maran Sar HaTorah Hagaon Harav Chaim Kanievsky, shlit”a, for Klal Yisrael’s benefit. Listen to him, before it’s too late, Rachmana liztlan. Do it now. Now.

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