All was well in the Gelbstein home Friday night, as the family of the groom-to-be headed out to celebrate the shabbat chattan. While they happily gathered with friends and family to enjoy their simcha, however, invaders smashed through their window, and began to ransack their apartment. When they returned that evening, their most valuable possessions were gone. Silver, jewelry, and other family heirlooms were stolen. The most remarkable stolen item, however, was a large sum of borrowed money, intended to pay for the wedding.
Bereft of their valuables, and all of the money carefully gathered to marry off their beloved son, the Gelbstein family sat in their home, shocked, and began to cry. In the few days that followed, they managed to borrow an equal sum, plunging themselves into astronomical debt.
As parents Chaim & Leah walked son Tzvi to the chuppah, there was a noticeable veil of sadness over the Gelbstein family. Though they were overjoyed to marry off their child, their lives had been turned upside down.
In the months that have followed, the family’s debt has plummeted them into dangerous levels of poverty. Though they work long, hard hours at their teaching jobs, Chaim & Leah are unable to pay even the most basic bills. With 8 kids remaining at home, the youngest of which is just 2 years old, their situation is truly dire.
Their need is so great that Beit Shemesh rabbanim, including the Rachmastrivke Rebbe, have issued a public statement on the family’s behalf. Emergency funds are being collected to help this now-impoverished family, whose lives were flipped in an instant, from joy to tragedy.