Today is Tisha B’Av – the day of mourning on which the Jewish People contemplates the painful suffering that our People have endured over the centuries, including the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash.
As many know, however, destruction did not end with the loss of the Temple. Though we are blessed to live in a time in history when Jews can physically live safely almost anywhere, within their own homes many are living their own personal destruction.
Three snapshots of real individuals living in Jerusalem now:
Yehoshua from the Romema neighborhood, who is hospitalized with leukemia. His many children await him at home. He is incoherent, unable to speak. He needs treatments if he will ever speak with his family again … But they cannot afford them. His children do not even have books or clothing for the coming school year.
Shmuel from the Bar Ilan neighborhood, age 37. His wife passed away four years after their marriage, leaving him with devastated children. Over time they healed and moved on to a new future: He was remarried, and now has 11 children. His new wife Leah, however, was just diagnosed with cancer.
Chaim, whose child Naftali was wounded from a missile during operation ‘Tzuk Eitan.’ Naftali still needs treatments, and their home has fallen into chaos. There was no way they could have seen this shock coming … and now there is not a single moment of their lives that they can forget it.
One by one, these stories come trickling in to the offices of Vaad HaRabbanim, where organization operatives work hard day and night to find help. Yehoshua, Shmuel, and Chaim are all registered, together with other individuals with similar stories, with the Bein HaMeitzarim campaign. The campaign is a fund aimed at bringing tzedaka to families who are desperately suffering.
Rav Binyamin Finkel will be travelling on Thursday night, directly after Tisha B’Av , to pray for all those who donate to the fund. On this day when we contemplate the tragedies of our nation, and the restoration of Yerushalayim, few causes seem more worthy of our contribution.