You could have cut the silence in the air with a knife as Asher Rosen & his family sat in the living room of their Bnei Brak apartment awaiting a very special guest. Asher had now been on a few shidduch dates with a young woman named Shani and was ready to introduce her to his parents. When she arrived smiling shyly at the door, however, Asher’s mother was temporarily speechless.
The yeshiva bochur had failed to mention to his parents that his kallah-to-be had a very unusual appearance. Whereas most young ladies in their community had shoulder length hair or longer, often tied back into a ponytail, Shani had “boy-short” tufts of curly hair poking out rambunctiously over her ears & jutting out in several directions.
The reason for the “fashion statement” however, was more than meets the eye: Shani had recently beaten cancer. After an hour of polite conversation, the Rosens were delighted with their son’s choice: She was well-spoken, motivated, and kind.
There was not a dry eye in that same apartment one week later when a group of very special visitors arrived to celebrate the engagement: Nurses from Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital’s cancer ward came to wish their beloved Shani “mazel tov.”
Shani & her chassan are registered as part of Vaad HaRabbanim’s ‘Yesomei Cheshvan’ campaign. Funds raised go toward us and other couples like them that are getting married this month. Some in the group got married this week and still don’t have an oven, or a fridge, in their apartment. Others are getting married in a couple of weeks but the chassan has no suit. All are praying that the campaign will be successful.
In a public show of support, Rav Chaim Kanievsky, the Vizhnitz Rebbe, and Rav Ezrachi gave their bracha to all who donate that they should “marry off their own children with great ease,” and be “saved from all sickness.” This blessing is “midah k’neged midah,” in return for helping those who did not live to see their own children married off. Readers can see the full statement here.
Those who are interested in donating to brides like Shani can receive the Rabbis’ blessing via Vaad’s Yesomei Cheshvan Fund for a limited time.
*Details have been changed to protect the orphans’ privacy. Each couple has their own story of loss & struggle.