Mother is making dinner while the children are sitting and talking with Father. It’s an enjoyable evening, and everything seems just fine.
That is, until Father suddenly has a seizure. The children start screaming. They’ve seen this so many times, but they’ll never get used to it. Epilepsy is not easy to live with.
The children started to hope and pray for the present seizure to end, for their father to get up and return normal, but this time he didn’t. The paramedics rushed into the house with the sirens blaring outside. From the adjoining room, the children could still hear the electric shocks being administered, the last effort to bring their father back to life, but instead, the minyan of children became orphans.
Reb Michoel Fisher passed away.
Epilepsy strikes when least expected. Their father goes to shul and they never know if he’ll have a seizure along the way. As they planned a bar mitzvah for their son, they couldn’t help but wonder if he’ll have a seizure right in the middle of the celebration. They’re in constant fear.
Rav Michoel Fischer pushed himself, with whatever strength he had left, to be a father to his children. He came to the Shabbos table and sat with his family for the entire meal, and even sung zemiros with them. Though drugged and drowsy, he fought to keep his eyes open and be with them.
Rav Michoel had such a promising future. As a yeshiva bochur, he excelled as a top student. His rabbanim said he was destined for greatness. “A walking sefer Torah,” the Rosh Yeshiva once said about him. Rav Michoel loved Torah, breathed it and lived it.He got married and built a Torah home. He was so fortunate to continue learning and earn a living as a teacher.
Who could have imagined he would one day become so ill?
Sickness and Poverty
After the first seizure, Reb Michoel resigned from teaching. With the loss of income, and along with the new medical expenses, their financial situation quickly deteriorated and they started sinking into debt.
They had to sell their home just to get by. They packed ten years of their life into cardboard boxes and moved away. They were leaving behind their home where their father had been healthy—they were leaving behind their happy memories.
The years went by and their expenses grew. The end of every month was especially difficult—was there any money left to pay rent? These were difficult years, fighting a cruel illness that struck unexpectedly. Their father started taking a new medicine that made the seizures less frequent, but it also made him more drowsy.
The children went to shul by themselves, as their father never woke up in time. His tallis and tefillin stayed on their shelf until late in the day, as the illness made their father incredibly weak, too weak to get up.
Still, he was a young avreich, and a father of young children. He started to carry his three-year-old boy to school on his first day of cheder, wrapped in a tallis for his first day of learning alef beis. But what if he suddenly has a seizure? He put his son down, and held his hand instead. He so much wanted to carry him to cheder and make this a day to remember forever. But he couldn’t.
The seizures got worse. Despite them, Reb Michoel held onto life with all his strength. He went to shul even though he might have a seizure along the way. He sat and learned with chavrusa, even though he could barely keep his eyes open.
On Shabbos afternoon, he sat at the table with his four-year-old on his lap and the older children sitting beside him. He talked with them about what they learned during the week. It’s a beautiful moment, like normal—almost.
The perfect scene comes to a sudden end. Michoel starts shaking and falls to the floor. His four-year-old falls off his lap and bumps his head. The children start panicking and davening. Ima grabs a cushion from the couch and puts it under his head. This is something the children will never get used to.
This physical and emotional torture continued for eight years. They’re ready to go somewhere, and suddenly he has a seizure. They’re getting the house ready for a holiday, and suddenly he falls to the floor. Or he musters the last of his strength to spend some time with his children, but then he has another seizure.
A Fatal Blow
In the middle of Aseres Yemei Teshuvah, Michoel passed away right in front of his ten children. They were all at home when it happened.
They never thought this would happen. Epilepsy was always hovering over their home like a dark cloud, but it was not supposed to be fatal. They were in the middle of a pleasant evening together. Nobody thought the dream would suddenly become a nightmare. While everyone else was getting ready for the holidays, this house full of poor orphans tore their garments and sat shivah.
Eight years of hardship ended a few days after Rosh Hashanah. The whole family valiantly took care of their father. They accepted their poverty, and they hoped and prayed that he should be healthy again. But now, they have no such hopes, their father passed away.
They have no father, and no home of their own. And besides the normal expenses of raising a family, they’re left with all the debts from his medical expenses. There’s no way their mother can handle the financial burden alone.
Epilepsy has left ten orphans with a hole in their hearts, and a widow who needs to rebuild their lives from nothing. They are completely poor with no one to help them. An ocean of tears is all they have to their name.
The holidays came and went, filled with tears instead of happiness. They had a long ordeal behind them, and they have more suffering ahead of them—but with your help, you can change their fate.
Please don’t ignore this plea for help. There’s a minyan of orphans looking to you for help. They have no idea how much they need, but their tears melt your heart.
They can’t continue like this. When the widow has no idea how she’ll pay the rent, let alone all the other expenses of raising a family. She is calling out to you, please help her.
Don’t put this pamphlet down without giving a donation. Ten orphans, ten Jewish children, and their whole future depends on you. We all know how hard it is to support a family—and a family without a father needs even more. It’s impossible to ignore them and let them just fall to pieces.
A little something means so much! The holidays are long over, and you’re already back to your normal routine. But these orphans will never go back to the way things were. Give something, help them.They need a semblance of normal life, a semblance of sanity, and that depends on us.
Please hear their cries! Please help them. Now.