As told to Simmy Horwitz
Elimelech peeks into the pulsating room, joyous music invigorating the energetic crowd, and catches a glimpse of the exuberant chassan. Deep in the middle of an adoring circle, the chassan clasps hands tightly with his father as they stomp and twirl in unison: the dance of a father and son.
Elimelech turns away quickly, eyes smarting, and with a pounding heart, catches up with the hall manager he has come here to meet. His own wedding will be here in two weeks, but – his heart can’t help but lurch, thinking of it – there will be no father by his side. Doubly tragically – there will be no mother, either. Elimelech tries to keep a clear head as he heroically forges ahead with the wedding plans – after all, he’s had to fend for himself for months now – but when it comes to his wedding, such a milestone, the loss feels like a gaping, open wound.
Within the past few years, the E. family underwent a catastrophic tragedy: the loss of their beloved mother, followed shortly thereafter by the loss of their cherished father. Both were treasured greatly by their family and friends; both underwent the pain and suffering of the deadly machla. With many married children left behind to grieve their losses, even more heartbreaking was the number of unmarried children still left – to grieve alone, and to marry, without the support of their parents.
Now, there is a chassan: young, forlorn and vulnerable. His wedding will be taking place in two short weeks and he is bereft; forced to fill a void that cannot be satiated, the chassan is plugging ahead, unaided by the people he needs most.
Yet he is not alone.
Nine short months ago, his sister was in these shoes. The young E. kallah needed help, as much as her brother needs it today, and our community responded graciously.
With tremendous enthusiasm, many in Lakewood opened their hearts to the E. family and gave generously of themselves to bring light back to this kallah’s life. In turn, the bracha of Hagaon Harav Chaim Kanievsky, shlita, came true on their behalves:
Harav Chaim guaranteed that whoever would help the E. family would see yeshuos in their own lives…and the stories poured in.
“Nine months ago, I became deeply involved in the campaign for this kallah as a zechus for my own sister to become a kallah. With a line of sisters behind her, the need was urgent for her to get engaged. Incredibly, on the night of the E. kallah’s wedding, my sister became a kallah.” –Shmuel B.
“A donor was approached and asked to contribute $1,000. ‘I can’t give that much,’ he protested. We urged him to contribute $100 right away, with a pledge of the remaining $900 if his daughter would become a kallah by Rosh Chodesh Adar Beis, shortly after the E. wedding. He agreed…and he didn’t have to wait. She became a kallah the night of yesomah’s chasunah.” –Nachi R.
Rav Chaim himself is invested in creating as much joy and happiness for this young chassan as he can. He has already pledged to personally attend the wedding. Where Rav Chaim goes, who doesn’t follow?
Nine months ago, we had the opportunity to gain yeshuos, as promised by the gadol hador; now, with the engagement of another E. child, we have a second chance. Elimelech himself has pledged to daven b’yom chupaso for all of the generous benefactors who have assisted in getting him to the chupah b’nachas ruach.
Elimelech has no father, he has no mother – yet he’s not alone. He has Klal Yisrael. Let us show him now, as we showed his sister, that we’re prepared to take achrayus for him by providing for his basic needs. We hope that someone would do it for our own beloved brother and son.
Please donate HERE.