The Angel of Destruction went from house to house and struck. Shrieks emanated from the windows. What happened inside was beyond words.
Mitzrayim turned into a giant graveyard.
Some houses were not affected. The Angel of Destruction did not enter any door that was marked with the blood of a lamb or goat. Divine protection hovered over these homes that showed their faithfulness to Hashem and His mitzvos by the sign on their door.
Today as well, when the world is paralyzed by the invisible but pervasive Corona virus, we have a sign of faithfulness that will keep disaster far away from us.
Faithfulness to our Jewish brethren, faithfulness to HaKadosh Baruch Hu. Faithfulness to His holy Torah.
Harav Chaim Kanievsky shlita promises: All who donate to Vaad Harabbanim will be treated by Heaven in accordance with midah k’neged midah – they and their entire family will be protected from sickness!
Ribono shel Olam, we are rescuing Your children.
We are protecting them, so may You protect us!
How much money are you spending on Pesach?
Thousands of dollars flow before Yom Tov arrives. The expenses are endless: matzah, meat, poultry, fish, special cooking oil, fruits and vegetables, eggs, dairy products, and much, much more. And before the food shopping, you probably bought shoes and clothing and for the family. It’s a ton of money!
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While you are tripping over the cartons of groceries strewed around a home topsy-turvy from Pesach cleaning, the thousands of impoverished families supported by Vaad Harabbanim are terrified by the thought of the approaching holiday. In some of these homes, there is someone who can clean for Pesach, the fridge is scrubbed, the cabinets are lined with paper – but there is nothing in them besides a sack of potatoes and two trays of eggs from the chesed distribution. The pantry is empty.
In other homes, they are light-years away from Pesach cleaning. A mother suffering from a rare disease, undergoing very difficult treatments, is in no shape to wash the floor or scrub anything. There is obviously no money to hire help. They can’t even pay for the treatments.
“Pesach is in two weeks!” Yehudis cries over the phone. Moishie, the oldest, is going through a very difficult series of treatments abroad. Her husband is there with him. She is falling apart from worry. She tries to be strong for the rest of the children who stayed with her here, but the chag is fast approaching and she is losing it. “Shmuel, please come back!”
At the hospital, they allow Moishie to go on leave for two weeks, and community workers hold an emergency campaign among members of the neighborhood. It’s not a large sum. Just two plane tickets back to Israel…
Moishie and Shmuel come back to Israel. Moishie is weak and very sensitive. A nurse comes every day to give him injections, and Mother is exerting herself to the utmost to get everything ready for Pesach. She will clear out the chametz and clean the house. But what about matzah? And wine? The gas bill? Some shirts for chol hamoed? And everything else? Moishie’s treatments are so expensive. They already broke all their savings accounts to pay for it. Life is more important than money. But now, on Erev Pesach, there are some things they can’t do without…
Your Kimcha d’Pischa money is the food they will eat on Pesach. It’s the yarmulke they will buy for their child. It’s the urgent repair of the bathtub that floods with sewage, and Mother soaks up the black water with old towels.
One family from Beit Shemesh lives in a rickety apartment building with winds coming through the windows that are broken open. Building waste lies next to the mattresses that the children sleep on, and the electricity is disconnected the majority of the time. There is no light. All winter they suffered from cold.
The pictures that came in to Vaad Harabbanim shocked even the supervisors who regularly see cases of extreme need. It’s amazing that the parents didn’t give up altogether. The father hardly makes it out to daven. The mother is always in bed. Who cleans? Who tidies?
Tovah was married to a fine and loving husband. Together they raised their six children and ran a model home.
Until three weeks ago.
She was waiting for him next to the entrance to the nursery school where she teaches. He was meant to come and pick her up, as planned. A whole hour went by, and he didn’t come. Her desperate phone calls went unanswered.
In the end, Tovah came home by bus, scared to death what might have happened, only to find that Avremi died from a sudden heart attack an hour and a half ago.
Instead of preparing for Pesach like last year, Tovah and the six children are sitting shivah. Last Pesach they had a father. This year they are fresh orphans.
Tovah is dazed from crying so much, her siblings tell her that a solution must be found for the debts that remain, and she just wants to wake up and discover that it was all a bad dream.
Children with sick parents, widows in tough situations, impoverished talmidei chachamim, homes with enormous medical expenses of various kinds – thousands upon thousands of challenged families will make it to Pesach only from the Kimcha d’Pischa that we will donate.
The Kimcha d’Pischa of Vaad Harabbanim is real kimcha, real flour. It is food for the chag, shoes for a child, a sack of potatoes and fish. While you are baking your Pesach delicacies with their delicious aroma, they are cooking the chicken that was purchased from your tzedakah. You will sit down to a finely-set table on Seder night, and they will set the table with your tzedakah. He’s your brother! Give to him!
Harav Chaim Kanievsky shlita promises us protection, in the merit of this tzedakah! The world is in hysteria, hundreds of thousands of people are getting infected, and many thousands of them are dying – and we hold onto the berachah of Rav Chaim Sar Hatorah, and are saved!
Entire countries are in quarantine, and we rally around the call of Rav Chaim shlita. The top scientists are feverously researching a cure; the world leaders are helpless to stop the onslaught; millions of citizens are in hysteria. And we have Vaad Harabbanim.
When the plague is raging, we take refuge in the blessing and the strength of the Gedol Hador. We arm ourselves with the giant tzedakah that reaches thousands upon thousands of families in distress all over Eretz Yisrael.
Let’s just add the Kimcha d’Pischa money to our list of expenses. Let’s give with all our heart to our Jewish brethren who taste maror all year and not just on Pesach. Our Kimcha d’Pischa is like the blood that our forefathers placed on their doorposts in Mitzrayim. It is a sign between us and Hashem.