“It was the day of my wedding, and my father and sisters and I were almost ready to leave for the hall. Down the hallway I heard my sister scream, and saw that my father was on the floor. He had had a heart attack. We lost him that day. The wedding was cancelled, of course, and we went straight into shiva. Dad had raised us alone after Mom passed away, and we were lost as to what to do next.
For a full year, I worked as a nurse to save up money to re-make the wedding. We sold everything we had before to help take care of my siblings, and repay our debts. I am starting from scratch.” Tamar, 23*
Nearly 40 young men & women with stories comparable to “Tamar”’s are getting married this month, with the support of Kupat Ha’Ir’s Elul orphan wedding campaign. The campaign’s goal is to raise $1,000 for each of the 38 individuals, in order to help them with the expenses which might have been covered by a parent, if they were living. Rav Gershon Edelstein is involved with the campaign, lending his public support and written blessing “that [donors] and their descendants will grow in Torah, fear of Heaven and good character traits with peace of mind and a ksiva v’chasima tova.”
Money raised goes toward wedding basics such as a modest hall, sheva brachos, and household appliances. For those suffering in poverty, engagement can be a painful time. Those special young men and women who endure this process alone truly rely on the support of those who step in and choose to become like family. Those who are able to become the orphans’ family, and wish to receive the Rav’s bracha, can do so here.
* Unless they have personally experienced getting married after the loss of a parent, it can be difficult for readers to understand the extent of the trauma and the validity of the need for support. The above story is told to illustrate why this fund is so crucial. The orphans getting married this month prefer that their details remain private. For that reason, this story is not any one individual’s story, it is a combination of details from many cases.