Rabbi Chacham of Rehovot suffered through countless cancer treatments, for nearly 5 years, before passing away and leaving behind a widow and 6 children. His death had a profound impact on his community and loved ones. Son Dovid tearfully remembers: “We were all helping to fight the cancer together. It was very difficult… Abba was the backbone of our home.”
After the initial haze of mourning lifted, widow Esther was left in a position many women before her had been faced with. Having lived many years as a stay-at-home mother and wife, she now had no husband, no source of income, and a mountain of debt. Gathering the strength to move on, she restructured her life and went back to school. Last week, she received certification to work as a medical secretary, and she is hopeful that this will start a new chapter in her family’s lives. Esther’s is truly an inspiring tale – of hard work in the face of sorrow.
Despite their progress, however, the family is still struggling to make ends meet. Son Dovid is now engaged to be married, and Esther has been forced to relive the grief of her loss, and the humiliation of its resulting poverty, by asking for tzedaka. The tzedaka fund opened for the Chacham family paints a heartfelt and moving story:
“We are doing everything we can to make a modest wedding for Dovid and his kallah, a lovely girl who works very hard in a school for children with special needs. They are two very special people who truly deserve to have a normal wedding, and to have the household staples that a couple needs when starting a home. It is painful for me as a mother that I can’t give them that. But there is so much that has not been as we planned.”
These sobering words are an important reminder to all who read them: no family is immune to tragedy. No person plans to lose their spouse, or to marry off their children alone. Perhaps this sentiment will open the hearts of readers, and inspire them to accompany Dovid and his kallah to the chuppah, sparing mother Esther any further humiliation.