A young woman, Malky*, cries herself to sleep each night. Since her parents passed away, she’s had many nights like this. Passed from foster home to foster home, she has lived a life of pain. When she turned 17, she set out on her own, to make a life for herself. She worked long hours at jobs, lying about her age, until she could pay for a shared room in a small apartment. Her roommate set her up with a boy, and something magical happened: Finally it was Malky’s turn to be happy. They got engaged. She is too afraid to tell him that she goes hungry most days, and has no family who can help her buy a dress or a head-covering. She spends each day praying for a miracle.
Shlomo* worked hard at his construction job to support his large family. He left each morning before the sun rose, and got home each day in the evening. As the hard work wracked his body, he told himself, ‘I’m doing this for my wife and kids.’ And for the little time they had with him each day, they were happy. Until, one day, Shlomo collapsed on the job, and the world faded from his view. His wife Rivka sobbed as the doctors told her the news: He had had a stroke, and was in a coma. In the months that have passed, they have run out of money. The kids eat plain bread each day for lunch. Rivka works hard to find a job but can’t afford a babysitter which would allow her to get work done. She wonders what will happen when they run out of money for bread.
11 families in Bnei Brak are suffering. Their stories are different. Two are orphaned kallahs, others are large families of children who are hungry, one is a man who had a stroke and is in a coma as detailed in the horrors above.Though their suffering is unique, they all have one thing in common: They went to mekubal and talmid chacham Rav Stern shlit”a in Bnei Brak, begging for help to save their lives.
Unable to help them without the proper funds, Rav Stern and his renowned tzedaka organization Beit Avraham have opened a fundraising campaign in their honor. The Rav hears hundreds of stories each month, of suffering and poverty. However in the case of these 11 families, the stories were so horrible, he decided that something must be done urgently.
For all those who choose to save them, Rav Stern will pray personally. Each day of Chanukah, a special list with the names on this campaign will be hand delivered to the Rav. With tears in his eyes and passion in his heart, he will storm the heavens. He will beg Hashem to save these 11 families from the fear of starvation that plagues them every day, and he will pray for you, if you can find it in your heart to help them.
Please, give what you can. Right now, these families are worried about making it through the day.
*Details have been changed from the stories above to preserve the families’ anonymity.