A Ramat Shlomo family made the news today, after father of 15 Asher Lichtenstein reportedly suffered a stroke as a result of immense financial pressure. The stroke, and its consequent brain damage, has opened a conversation regarding the health risks of fiscal stress, and the effect that disability has on family dynamics.
The family’s situation changed drastically when their 14th child, Goldy, was born with major health issues. Doctors told her parents that heart defects, epilepsy, and hypotonia would keep her from ever being independent. Now thirteen years old, she is fed baby cereal around the clock, is carried from place to place, and sleeps in a crib. Her mother, Raizy Lichtenstein, left her job to tend to her daughter’s extensive needs. Thus began major struggles, emotional and financial, which ultimately led to father Asher’s hospitalization.
Raizy is now working to support the family singlehandedly, while continuing to raise her children. “It truly seems impossible, no matter how hard I work, for one person to do all of this,” reads painful text on their highly personal tzedaka fund page.
Though it seems the stakes could not be higher, another factor has now been introduced: Their daughter Liba is engaged to be married. Liba, an independent and hopeful young woman, is working to make her own wedding & home without financial assistance.
Donations are being collected for three essential causes: purchasing medications & assistance for 13-year-old Goldy, creating a modest wedding for young Liba, and putting food on the table for the other children of the family, who have struggled immensely.
“I often cry, feeling truly desperate and hopeless,” continues poignant Chesed Fund text, “but I trust that Hashem will bring us through this – and maybe you will be his shaliach, to help a family that has nothing, that has so many challenges, that would be truly changed for the better if they could get some help.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. Hashem should help us all.”
This concise yet emotional blessing, from a mother who has faced more challenges than most, is particularly moving. Those who are able to help the Lichtenstein family can do so here for a limited time.