A year and a half after the passing of the Chassidic doctor, Rabbi Yitzchak Rosenberg, his daughter Rivki is about to get married and establish her own home* After years of moving from place to place, poverty, and deprivation, she yearns for her wedding day and the opportunity to start afresh* She wants to have a stable, healthy, two-parent home with at least the bare minimum of furniture and food* The problem: She can’t begin without having even a shekel* The wedding is pushed to the side as she stands by helplessly
Rivki Rosenberg was a regular, happy child who lived in America with her parents and siblings. Her father was a caring doctor and her mother was a wonderful homemaker- they were a happy and contented Chassidic family.
Then everything changed. Drastically. A small fire which broke out in a room in their house rapidly spread, and within a short time clouds of smoke filled the house. Everyone there fled, and baruch HaShem they were all saved and no one was hurt.
But the house and all its contents went up in flames. Nothing was left. They needed to borrow the most basic items of clothing and personal care, including house slippers, hairbrushes, and even toothbrushes from the neighbors.
They stayed in a temporary residence, and afterward moved to another temporary residence, and moved again and again. Finally, after a number of months, the father R’ Yitzchak decided: “If we don’t have anything here anyway, and we need to start all over again, why don’t we do it in Eretz Yisrael, the land of our holy Avos?”
A few additional months of preparation, and the excited family landed in Ben Gurion Airport, and headed to a rental apartment that was waiting for them. As they settled in, R’ Yitzchak began to look for work as a family doctor, but found out that his American license to practice wasn’t accepted in Israel, and that he’d need to study and take additional tests in Israel to qualify for an Israeli license- a process that was expected to take about a year.
Their situation worsened. The children still had not been placed in their respective educational institutions. The father needed to find a temporary job while he studied to get his Israeli medical license, which would cause his studies to take much more than a year. Meanwhile, the family continued to sink ever deeper into a financial pit.
And then the pandemic hit. R’ Yitzchak contracted Corona. He was intubated and a coma was induced. He was unconscious for many long months, until at the end, on the 7th of Nissan 2022, the doctors were compelled to confirm his death.
The family was left lost, destitute, bereaved and orphaned. By now it had been more than two years that they were not in educational institutions. In the meantime the family had moved apartments in three different cities until they settled in Teveria. They didn’t know the language, the surroundings were unfamiliar, the children were left without schools, their poverty deepened, and their situation became more and more difficult.
Rivki went from being a happy-go-lucky child to a sad teenager who desperately tried to help her siblings and her widowed mother. At night her pillow was wet with tears- she missed her father so much, and she missed the friends she once had and now didn’t. She missed being a girl in a ‘regular’ family, like she used to be…
But now she’s about to get married, bsha’ah tovah. On Thursday the 19th of Sivan she’ll go under the chuppah b’ezras HaShem to start her own home- a home with a father and a mother, with clothes in closets and not in piles on the floor like the home she’s living in now, a home with a table and chairs both in the kitchen and in the living room, and she’ll have shelves and pictures on the walls…
She’s been dreaming about and yearning for this day, but the truth is that she doesn’t even know if the wedding will take place as scheduled. She has nothing! She can’t even begin to prepare…she simply has no options, no way to help herself. For a long time there hasn’t been any money in their home, and without money one can’t buy anything.
We have to help Rivki. We have to help lift her out of the deprivation she lives in. We have to enable her to go under the chuppah dressed appropriately, as does a bas Yisrael who’s getting married. We have to enable her to establish her own healthy home, where she’ll be able to smile and laugh.
She’s scheduled to get married on the 19th of Sivan. We have to enable this wedding to take place, to provide her with at least the minimum of the minimum. Let’s help her- let’s not leave her to battle on her own with the difficulties and the pain. Let’s be there for her, and show her that she’s not alone, that we care, that we want her to succeed!