While Yom Kippur is a day of atonement, intense prayer and fasting, some hefty business deals are closed. The commodities are not stocks and bonds, but aliyos and mitzvos. Mispallelim vie for the various privileges, and banks accounts of yeshivos and admorim emptied before the Yomim Tovim are replenished for another year of good deeds and charity.
Kikar News reported on a number of the heftier donations pledged on Yom Kippur 5776:
An anonymous donor pledged $36,000 to the Belzer institutions for an aliyah honoring the Belzer Rebbe.
At the Nadvorna Bais Medrash, Rav Eliyahu Yoel Wosner, great-grandson of Rav Shmuel Wosner zt”l, bought Maftir Yona for $25,000 and honored the Nadvorna Rebbe with Maftir.
In Vizhnitz, the sum total of all the honors purchased amounted to tens of thousands of dollars, with philanthropists R’ Chaim Moshe Feldman from London, Yankel Adler from Manchester, Yitzchok Tessler from New York and Mattisyahu Grossinger from Eretz Yisroel topping the list of donors.
Last year’s first place went to Mendy Glick, who pledged a whopping $360,000 for Pesichah l’Neilah and honored his rebbi, Rav Efjin, in Rosh HaAyin.
The Shuvah Yisrael community, headed by Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto, comes in first pace, breaking all previous records with the sum total of $4 million.
Many of the attendees at the services, everyday Jews alongside millionaires, were seeing Rav Pinto for the first time since his serious surgery.
At Rav Pinto’s minyan, one person pledged $1 million to open the Aron Kodesh for Kol Nidrei, $100,000 each for the 13 Sifrei Torah held during the tefillah, and $500,000 for the privilege of reciting the tefillah for parnassah.