Many may recall the news in February of Beit Shemesh father of 9 Eliyahu Klatzkin. Klatzkin was diagnosed in 2016 with an aggressive case of cancer. For many months, the family fought for his survival, including flying to the United States to undergo extensive surgery to remove two cancerous tumors. After the tumors were removed, but the illness tragically remained, Klatzkin returned to Israel to begin what was then his only hope: medication which was not covered by the national insurance.
Thus began the family’s terrifying monthly race, to acquire the $14,000 per month necessary to procure the life-prolonging medication. In a desperate appeal to the public, Eliyahu’s wife pleaded: “Our kids need their Abba back.” The ‘race,’ however, was not won.
We are pained to report that on Monday, July 2nd, Eliyahu lost his battle with cancer. 9 children sat shiva in their Beit Shemesh home. The youngest is just one year old.
A friend of the family recalls the bris of the youngest, which took place in a time when most knew that Eliyahu’s survival was unlikely:
“There wasn’t a dry eye as Reb Eliyahu was Sandek of his newborn son,” he writes, “as everyone was thinking about the poor child, doomed to a life without a father, a life without anyone to walk him to Shul, a life with no one to learn with him at Avos Ubanim.”
An emergency fund is set up on the widow’s behalf. Mrs. Klatzkin is now on her own with a large family, and deeply burdened by immense medical debt, as well as the other expenses which went unpaid during their period of financial strain. During his lifetime, Rabbi Klatzkin took pride in providing for his family. Now, donations are being saved to help his wife pick up the pieces.
The campaign’s goal is to allow the young mother to mourn her husband in peace, and to provide a stable future for herself and her children.