About 2378 years ago, Mordechai Hayehudi put on sackcloth and ashes, walked in the streets of Shushan Habirah, and let out a great and bitter scream.
Haman had decreed to destroy, kill and wipe out, and Mordechai screamed out to Hashem to annul the decree. Hashem, have mercy on Your children! Do it in the merit of the children in Torah schools who never sinned!
More than two thousand years later, Harav Hagaon Elimelech Biderman voices the same plea in the offices of Vaad Harabbanim. The same great scream for mercy.
“Thousands of families in Eretz Yisrael are letting out a great and bitter scream!” he cries from the depths of his heart. “Thousands of families that without your Matanos l’Evyonim to Vaad Harabbanim, will not have simchas Purim!”
He speaks and the walls shake. Behind him are the thick binders that hold within them tens of thousands of families that live thanks to support from Vaad Harabbanim.
More than 4000 families turned to Vaad Harabbanim over recent days with applications for support. They are looking forward desperately to the Purim distribution!
It is frightening to write this number. Every family is an entire world: sometimes it has only a father, sometimes only a mother, sometimes both of them are alive, baruch Hashem, but they are challenged by a difficult illness. And there are families that have neither father nor mother, and young children are facing life on their own, struggling every day to survive.
Motty was eighteen years old when they told him that his mother is very ill. His brave mother, who, with mesirus nefesh, gave them a normal upbringing. Alone. Without her husband, who left her a long time ago. And almost without other family members around her. Now, she needs to go to the oncology department and undergo chemotherapy!
“We are waiting for miracles,” he says to the mashgiach who asks how his mother is doing. “We are davening all the time, hoping that…”
Suddenly Motty bursts into. He sobs like he never did before.
Yesterday they put Ima in an induced coma. he cries. “We were there with her, we sang Shabbos zemiros that she loves…”
A few weeks later, Ima passed away. The neighborhood women prepared the house for shivah, took out the garbage, made some order out of the mess that had piled up during the two years of illness, when Ima almost didn’t function and the children did not have energy for anything other than being next to her.
And the day after the shivah they were all alone. Four orphans, aged eighteen and under.
Who will take care of them? Who will do the laundry? Who will organize things in the home? Who will take care of their emotional needs?
R’ Elimelech Biderman Shlita screams out for them and for tens of thousands of other Jews facing impossible difficulties.
Families suffering from shocking illnesses and paralyzing poverty. Children that might have a Purim costume and might not, who might happily give out mishloach manos and might be embarrassed to open the door.
They are waiting for our Matanos l’Evyonim – because for them it is pikuach nefesh!
There are those who love segulos. Many of us are looking for quick recipes for yeshu’os. People are willing to travel overseas for a tefilah or to read a special set of pesukim four times a day.
Harav Elimelech Biderman came to Vaad Harabbanim to reveal the loftiest and simplest secret.
“People are looking for yeshu’os – says Rebbe Elimelech – “Zivug, parnassah, nachas, children… Purim is the time for yeshu’os to happen! When a Yid gives Matanos l’Evyonim through Vaad Harabbanim, and then picks up a Sefer Tehillim and pleads with Hashem – he will surely see yeshu’os!”
He will surely see yeshu’os.
So says the Tzaddik, and that is exciting news to our ears.
How many people around us have severe illnesses? How many are entangled in serious financial problems? There are too many unmarried people who are just growing older, waiting painfully to find their zivug. Too many longing to hug their own baby. And the Yetzer Hara is lying in wait with so many niysonos and temptations. We have plenty to worry about, both for ourselves and for our children.
Harav Elimelech Biderman comes to Vaad Harabbanim and promises you that your Tefilah on Purim will be answered! You will give your Matanos l’Evyonim through Vaad Harabbanim, you will add a heartfelt prayer to Hakadosh Baruch Hu, and this mitzvah will protect you and open for you the Gates of Rachamim!
The Tzaddik goes over the cases and tears roll down his cheeks. Application form after application form, rivers of tears and blood pour out in the modest office at 2 Yoel st, Jerusalem. Authentic, fresh applications that came in very recently, and each one of them contains a chilling story. Fellow Jews, people like me and you, whose lives are darker than you can imagine.
Every day, approximately 100 desperate cries for help come in to Vaad Harabbanim! 100 families knocking on the doors of Klal Yisrael and pleading to be rescued!
On Rosh Chodesh Adar, Elisheva bought a package of balloons and long ribbon with the few shekels she had left from babysitting. At home she blew up the balloons, attached them to the ribbon, and stretched it out in a colorful line on the living room ceiling.
So there will be a little simchah. So they, too, will feel Purim, not just the terrible worry over Tate’s illness. So their home will have some gladness despite the frightening medical forms in the drawer.
But when Yehudah came back from yeshivah he reacted by screaming. “What is this?!” he roared. He climbed on the table and tore down the colorful ribbon. He popped a balloon and another balloon. And another one. Boom boom boom.
Mamme was upset. “Why are you doing that? Why? Go to your room immediately!”
Yehudah did not answer.
“Something happened to Yehudah! I am sure, Mamme!’ says Elisheva, who begins to cry. “For a while already I have been thinking that he is not okay… he… it’s very hard for him, Mamme!”
It took precious time until they realized that his emotional state was crying out for help. Life was hard and burdensome even without this, as Tate was ill, the parnassah was very tight and Mamme was barely able to cope. Who had time to look deeply into the emotional state of a suffering child?
Today, Yehudah is in emotional rehabilitation, and his father is still going in and out of the hospital. And It’s hard for them to have Simchas Purim, when they don’t feel joy at all. How can they be happy when life is so sad?
Yehudah and Elisheva are knocking on our door, pleading with us to bring a little light into their darkness.
Together with them come seven fresh yesomim. The lapels of their garments are still torn and their eyes are swollen from crying. Yesterday they buried their mother after two years of severe illness.
Also thirteen children, together with their mother, are pleading with us. The father fell from a height and is now paralysed. Their lives turned upside down.
A yeshivah bachur from central Israel is looking at you, his arms are blue from pricks and he cries in desparation: “I need a medication that is not covered by the health plan. I need it to live”!
Harav Elimelech is sitting and reading, and his merciful heart goes out to the suffering families. He sees the avodas hakodesh of the gabbaim who care for the needs of the families with compassion and sensitivity. They allocate money for medication and emotional rehabilitation, money for food and utility bills. They support the families with financial counseling and with technical help at home.
And this is your tzedakah!
This is a world of total chesed that belongs totally to Am Yisrael!
Vaad Harabbanim is not a national chesed organization … Vaad Harabbanim is you, the donors!
Every dollar you donate keeps another struggling family alive! Another Jewish child who will grow up normally! Another home that will have simchas Purim, food for Shabbos and matzos for Pesach!
Rebbe Meilech is giving voice to the scream of thousands of families. He is calling out to you to donate – and promises to daven for you!
At alos hashachar of Purim day, the time when the heavens above are open to our prayers, and anyone who stretches out his hand is granted his request, the names of all the donors of Vaad Harabbanim will be brought to the home of Harav Elimelech Biderman Shlita. He will take them in, and Rebbe Elimelech will recite over them all of Sefer Tehillim.
And afterwards, when Rebbe Elimelech finishes reciting the holy words of Dovid Hamelech, he will daven for you.
The power of your tzedakah, your Matanos l’Evyonim through Vaad Harabbanim, will ascend to Heaven together with this sublime prayer and the holy words of Tehillim, at this special time of segulah, bringing you all the yeshu’os you need.