Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

16 Tammuz 5759 - June 30, 1999 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








Sponsored by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network

Produced and housed by











Rabbi Meir Baal HaNess Tzedokoh and the Foundation of Kollel Shomrei Hachomos
by Rabbi Sholom Meir Wallach

By Way of Introduction -- The Importance of Tzedokoh

The Arab despot, Achmed Al Jezer, placed harsh decrees on the Jews and levied such heavy taxes that he exploited all the monies they had received from their countries of origin. HaRav Avrohom Kalisker zt'l therefore decided to expand the circle of donors and send a messenger on an emergency collection in the Jewish communities of South Africa: Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco. He chose "the wise, perfect, well-rounded, humble as Hillel" HaRav Dovid Ashkenazi zt'l as a messenger.

Rabbi Dovid's mission lasted about seven years. The Jews of these countries were poor, and their small contributions were inadequate for the many needs. He therefore sailed to Italy, and met Maran the Chida zt'l in Laverne, where he lived at the end of his days. Reb Dovid told the Sephardic sage why he was forced to wander in foreign countries and related the terrible hardships that the Jews in the Holy Land endured. The holy sage was deeply pained and told him:

"Listen to me and I will tell you how to conduct a she'eilas chalom, question in a dream, so you'll know which number will win the lottery. Buy that ticket and you will win enough money to relieve the holy congregation."

Reb Dovid learned what to do, and continued on to Russia where a large lottery was held. He conducted a she'eilas chalom and was answered from Heaven while he was practically awake, not even in a regular dream. Afterwards, however, he was not sure if it was that number or the next one. Since a ticket cost the tremendous sum of six rubles, he did not dare buy two tickets from tzedokoh money and bought only one. The winning number of tens of thousands of rubles was the second number.

Reb Dovid was disappointed, completed his mission and returned to the holy land with a sack full of money which brought a small salvation to the heavily indebted congregation. Along with the money he collected, he gave HaRav Avrohom Kalisker zt'l a list of his expenses, such as travelling and food. The holy sage intently read down the list and pointed to the sum of six rubles.

"What's this?" he asked.

Reb Dovid told him how he met the Chida who taught him the secret of a she'eilas chalom and how the number was revealed to him, but he was not sure which one. So he only bought one lottery ticket, which did not win. If it would have won, the sum would have appeared on the list of profits. Now, because it did not win, the cost of the ticket appeared on the list of expenses.

The Gaon replied, "I do not authorize the expense. You have to pay for the ticket from your own pocket. I did not send you on a trip to buy a lottery ticket!"

Reb Dovid was astonished. He sincerely wanted to save the congregation from their hardships; he made a she'eilas chalom and was answered, and he even almost won! If one forgets something, it is not his fault.

HaRav Kalisker said to him, "Why do you think you forgot? I'll tell you more than that. Why did Hashem bring a tyrant who heavily burdened us, and why did Hashem arrange things so that the money from our countries was not enough and we were forced to search for other sources? Why did we have to turn to you, to disturb your learning and growth and to send you wandering for seven years?

"Do you know why? Because Hakodosh Boruch Hu wanted to give more and more Jews the zechus of donating money to the residents of Eretz Yisroel and to the tzedokoh of Rabbi Meir Baal HaNess. You have no idea how exalted this tzedokoh is and which gates of goodness and blessings are opened for those who support it! Our Father in heaven decided that it was worthwhile to afflict us with the burden of debts and onerous taxes and to decree wandering on you in order to be mezake many Jews in the Diaspora. How did you think you could exempt yourself from all of it by buying a lottery ticket? Does Hakodosh Boruch Hu lack money? He owns all the silver and the gold! He does not lack money, but He wants to gives Jews merit."

The Loftiness of the Tzedokoh of Rabbi Meir Baal HaNess

We can not fathom the loftiness of the Rabbi Meir Baal HaNess tzedokoh, but there were gedolim who did know. Once, the Ozrover Rebbe zt'l spoke at a gathering of gedolei hador and said that he has a tradition from his holy fathers about the great benefit of this tzedokoh for the poor of the holy land, but he is afraid to reveal the exalted matter for if he does, other charitable institutions would be deprived. If everyone knew the great importance of this tzedokoh, they would give all their donations to it in order to merit the immense zechuyos, both spiritual and physical, that are channeled through it!

When he finished speaking, HaRav Moshe Feinstein zt'l, who was sitting next to him, turned to him and asked him to explain his words. He told him, "I can not explain in public." The two got up and went into a corner of the hall, where they conversed privately for a long time. When they returned to the table, HaRav Moshe Feinstein said excitedly, "I can not reveal what I just heard, but I recommend wholeheartedly to donate generously to the tzedokoh of Rabbi Meir Baal HaNess, because you can not fathom the tremendous zechus!"

Chazal said about every tzedokoh that "more than the baal habayis does for the poor person, the poor person does for the baal habayis" -- to such an extent that the poor in their day used to say to the rich "be zoche through me," I am offering you merits!

When the wicked Turnusrufus asked Rabbi Akiva, "If your G- d loves the poor, why doesn't he sustain them?" Rabbi Akiva answered emphatically, "To save us, through them, from Gehennom."

How much more so, if Hashem, the merciful Father, deemed it worthwhile to place the burden of poverty on his beloved children who moved to His holy land to learn Torah diligently in kedusha and taharo, with great self- sacrifice - - this fact alone shows the great zechus of those who support them. For that zechus, it was worth causing thousands of talmidei chachomim and their families, gedolei Torah veyiro, and many widows and orphans, to suffer poverty and want!

The Jealousy of Yerushalayim

The Rabbi Meir Baal HaNess tzedokoh was established to support the poor of the Holy Land in earlier generations. The defender of Yisroel, HaRav HaKadosh R' Levi Yitzchok of Berditchev zt'l mentioned in his holy letter that "there are takonos and decrees from the elderly sage the Bais Yosef zt'l and from the gedolim of Eretz Yisroel, not to divert money pledged to Rabbi Meir Baal HaNess to any other tzedokoh in the world."

The author of the Sdei Chemed zt'l wrote that he remembers seeing this regulation from Maran the Beis Yosef and the Alshich HaKodosh zt'l. In a later generation, HaRav Arye Leib Katzenellenbogen zt'l, the rav of Brisk, renewed the prohibition along with all the gedolim of his generation. R' Chaim of Volozhin zt'l added that the poor of Eretz Yisroel are considered "the poor of your city," who have precedence over other poor people, since their livelihood is dependent on those who live in the Diaspora.

The Chasam Sofer added that Yerushalayim's poor take precedence over the poor of the rest of Eretz Yisroel, "because `everything goes up to Yerushalayim,' because the kedusha of the site of Beis Hamikdosh was not nullified, and those who live near it are holier and closer to Hashem" (responsa of the Chasam Sofer, Yore De'ah 233).

The Chasam Sofer had a special relationship with Yerushalayim. The first olim, students of the Baal Shem Tov zt'l and the Vilna Gaon zt'l settled in the Galil, mainly Tzfas and Tiveriya. Thousands died in a large earthquake in 5596 (1836), and the Chasam Sofer considered it a result of the jealousy of Yerushalayim because they settled in the north!

When he eulogized the deceased, he cited the words of the Medrash (Tehillim 104) in the name of Eliyahu Hanovi, that when Hashem sees theaters built up and the holy Yerushalayim is desolate, He shakes up the world. He said, "According to the words of Eliyahu Hanovi, that an earthquake is because of the jealousy of Yerushalayim, it seems to me that jealousy of Yerushalayim did this: because the gate to heaven is there, Har Hamoriah, site of Akeidas Yitzchok is there, there Yaakov lay and dreamed of a ladder, and the Shechina does not move from there. And behold it was completely forgotten! They concentrated on Tzfas and Tiveriya, and its glory was diminished!"

The Foundation of Kollel Shomrei Hachomos

Indeed, many of the refugees of the great earthquake went up to Yerushalayim. The aliya of the Chasam Sofer's students materialized, and they settled mainly in Yerushalayim and became an important factor in the city and in Eretz Yisroel.

In 5618 (1858), Maran the Ksav Sofer zt'l decided to unify all Austrians -- greater Hungary, Austria, Moravia, Galicia, Bohemia, Hungary and more -- under one flag, the flag of Torah and yir'o in the tradition of our fathers, regardless of whether they were Perushim or Chassidim. We are all the son of one Father, and we all have one Torah. He invited about two hundred rabbonim, gedolei Torah veyiro, from the entire country, to a small village Pishpakolodni, under the auspices of HaRav Menachem Eizenshtat, son of Maharam Ash. There he announced the formation of the Rabbi Meir Baal HaNess tzedokoh, Kollel Shomrei Hachomos, where everyone, Porush or Chossid, could belong as long as he pledged to guard the walls -- the walls of kedusha and taharo, the walls of Torah and yir'o!

And so, for close to one hundred and fifty years, the Kollel supported tens of thousands of families under the auspices of its presidents who continue the tradition of the holy founders.

Who is Helping Whom?

The Chasam Sofer wrote about the Chazal, "The poor man does more for the baal habayis than the baal habayis does for the poor man," that the givers themselves are the main beneficiaries of the Rabbi Meir Baal HaNess tzedokoh fund.

The Rambam wrote that the calculation of the Jewish calendar transmitted by our rabbonim is in effect only as long as a Jewish settlement in Eretz Yisroel exists. If this settlement, which is the teil talpios backbone of all Jewish communities worldwide, no longer exists, then there will no longer be a valid calendar. Therefore, the Jewish communities in the Diaspora have a responsibility to take care of the Jewish community in Eretz Yisroel.

It seems that there are deeper ramifications according to the Toras hanistar. The Chasam Sofer himself hinted to this a number of times: All countries are under the dominion of the nation's sar, but Eretz Yisroel is the land of Hashem. Tefillos go up through it and bounty of Heaven flows down. The support of the Jewish community's avodas Hashem creates a connection for ruchniyus and a conduit of bounty.

The first Slonimer Rebbe, who spent most of his life travelling around to his chassidim to collect money for the Rabbi Meir Baal HaNess fund, used to tell the following story: A merchant once came to the tzaddik, Reb Levi Yitzchok of Berditchev and asked for a brocho before travelling to Russia on business. The Tzaddik said to him, "You are travelling to Russia? If you go through Karlin, go to the tzaddik Reb Shlomo and give him a generous donation, because he is a big tzaddik."

The merchant traveled to Russia, went to Reb Shlomo's house and found him in a shabby hut, poverty stricken. He took pity on him and gave him a large sum of money. The tzaddik blessed him, and he succeeded in business. When he returned to Poland, he told his rebbe about Reb Shlomo's poverty and the contribution. The Rebbe said to him, "When I told you to donate to him, it was not because he, nebach, needed to take. It was because you, nebach, needed to give."

Because giving tzedokoh to the poor of Eretz Yisroel is the main conduit of spiritual and physical bounty, it has become a segulah for brocho and success over the generations, as many stories attest. It is well known, for example, that the tzaddik Reb Tzvi Hirsch of Liska used to give his seekers a Rabbi Meir Baal HaNess pushka and say, "Why do have to bother coming here? Here is a `rebbe' that you can go to whenever you want, give as much as you want, and ask whatever you want."

The Principal and the Profits

It is an ancient segulah for brocho and success. We will cite a paragraph from the well known sefer, Pele Yo'etz: "The story was told of a wealthy man, a big philanthropist, who was approached by a messenger from Eretz Yisroel. The rich man asked him, `How much do you need to save the yishuv in Eretz Yisroel from its problems?'

"The messenger answered that they needed, let's say, one hundred thousand gold coins. The rich man immediately contributed the entire sum so the messenger could return to Yerushalayim, and he was extremely happy. That day, a large ship belonging to the wealthy man, that had almost been lost at sea, came back. The wealthy man went home extremely unhappy. When the messenger saw him, he thought he had regretted making such a large contribution while intoxicated. He began to pacify him and tell that the din is that someone who pledged a large sum of money at a feast of wine can go back on his word. The rich man answered, `Cholila that I would rescind the contribution; I donated it wholeheartedly. I am upset that Hashem hates me and gave me my reward immediately in Olom hazeh, with my ship's return.' The messenger told him, `Don't worry, there is a lot of reward waiting for you in Olom Haboh. These were just the fruits of the mitzva, so you should be able to do many more such mitzvos and ma'asim tovim!' "

There was no Reduction

The Baal HaTanya zt'l wrote in his Igeres Kodesh that every tzedokoh has great power to prevent calamities, "and especially the tzedokoh of Rabbi Meir Baal HaNess which is really the tzedokoh of Hashem, like it says about Eretz Yisroel, `Tomid einei Hashem elokecho boh, the eyes of Hashem are constantly on it.' And it says about the mokom Hamikdash in particular, `Vehoyu einai velibi shom kol hayomim, and My eyes and heart are there all the days.' That is what stood up for us to redeem the lives of our souls from the advice of those who want to stop us, and it stands up for us forever to put our soul in the true life from the source of life to shine in the light of life that Hashem should shine His countenance upon us forever."

The tzaddik Reb Noach Milkowitz zt'l wrote (in a letter from 5581-1821), "Admor my father, HaRav HaKadosh R' Mordechai Milkowitz zt'l, used to preach and practice this mitzva (of Rabbi Meir Baal HaNess tzedokoh) his entire life. He did not start any mitzva in the Torah and tefilla for Hashem alone without accompanying it with this mitzva. We already heard from my teacher my father zt'l, and from the Admor HaRav HaKadosh Shlomo HaLevi of Karlin zt'l and HaRav HaKadosh Moreinu VeRabeinu HaRav Boruch of Mezhibuzh zt'l that if they were accustomed to supporting the poor of Eretz Yisroel generously, they clearly had no reduction in wisdom, body and spirit. Because the aforementioned tzaddik already testified in his teachers' name that this mitzva pertains to our neshomoh and all physical and spiritual success depends on it. Therefore, seek the peace of this city and through its peace, we will have peace."

The Tzaddik Stepped out of His Bounds

Gedolei Yisroel, the tzaddikim of the generation, shouldered the burden of managing, collecting and sending the money in spite of their other toil in communal responsibilities, spreading Torah and answering halachic questions. Maran the Chasam Sofer set aside his precious time to collect money from all the villages, send detailed receipts and personally do the bookkeeping. He said that this is like dealing with the donations to the Mishkan which was specifically done by the greatest nevi'im. How far the matters reach! The Divrei Chaim of Sanz zy'o was the administrative treasurer of Kollel Shomrei Hachomos.

The tzaddik Reb Shmuel of Slonim zt'l spent most of his life travelling from city to city, from village to village, collecting the money. He once came to a village and stayed at an acquaintance's house. Suddenly, he heard a scream! They had boiled up a huge tank of water for the washing, and the host's baby fell inside! The tzaddik immediately instructed that the baby be brought to him. He placed his holy hands on the baby's completely burnt body, and each limb that his hand touched was healed! The burnt child was completely healed. The tzaddik said, "I overstepped my bounds to show you the power of giving tzedokoh to the Rabbi Meir Baal HaNess fund!"

In his sefer Divrei Shmuel, (page 41) he said, "Noach was saved from the mabul because of the tzedokoh he did in the teiva with all the animals. How much more so one who gives tzedokoh to Jews who learn Torah and live in Eretz Hakodesh, that did not have a mabul in it."

To Pay Attention to the Minority

The Chida, in his sefer Pesach Einayim, cited a proven segulah "that any trouble a person davens about, he should say `Eloka deMeir aneini', and pledge oil and tzedokoh to the neshomoh of Rabbi Meir."

Rabbenu the Baal Shem Tov wrote in the sefer Keser Shem Tov, "If a person is thrown into danger and needs a ness, he should give eighteen coins and say, `I am donating eighteen big ones' for the neshomoh of Rabbi Meir Baal HaNess, Eloka deMeir aneini! Yehi rotzon milfonecho . . . kesheim sheshomato tefilas avdecho Meir ve'osiso lo nisim veniflo'os, kein ta'ase imodi ve'im amcho hatzrichim lenissim nistorim veniglim, omein kein yehi rotzon."

The Admor of Munkatch zt'l related that when Rabbenu the Ateres Tzvi of Zidichov became sick and was about to die, he hinted that they give tzedokoh le'iluy nishmas Rabbi Meir Baal HaNess. Suddenly, his condition took a turn for the better and he recovered. He explained that the gemora says that most people who are near death actually die, but Rabbi Meir paid attention to the minority. According to his shitta, we take into account that a minority of people near death actually live, and by giving tzedokoh le'iluy his neshomoh, he was decreed life.

The Munkatcher Rebbe added that if a person had mostly sins and his judgment will probably come out guilty, the power of Rabbi Meir's taking a minority of merits into account will be a refu'ah and salvation!

We find another segulah of the author of Shevet Mussar zt'l that one who gives tzedokoh le'iluy nishmas Rabbi Meir Baal HaNess will find lost objects. The trustees of Kollel Shomrei Hachomos know countless stories; we chose one of them here.

An American Jew named Bistritzky used to give one dollar a day to the Rabbi Meir Baal HaNess pushka for brocho and success. He once spent a Shabbos vacationing outside of the city. On Shabbos, robbers broke into his house and stole all of his silver. He was very distressed. He poured out his heart to his friend who gave him the following advice: Donate fifty dollars le'iluy nishmas Rabbi Meir Baal HaNess, which is a segulah to find lost objects. He answered, "It's like searching for a needle in a haystack. Who ever heard of a robbery returned!"

After a week, the friend reiterated his proposition. The man said, "I am about to send the kollel the money from the pushka. I'll add another fifty dollars to the check."

Two days later, a man called. "Is your name Bistritzky? Did you have a robbery recently?"

"Yes," he answered. "My silver was stolen."

The man related that he had been outside of New York on business and went to the flea market. A gentile stood there, offering a full sack of silver vessels. The Jew began searching through the sack and found a kiddush cup engraved with Bistritzky's name, a present from one of the yeshivos. He told the seller that the merchandise was stolen and that he'll report him to the police. He got scared and sold him the entire sack for two hundred dollars. The man returned to New York and began searching for the silver's owner.

As it turns out, the incident happened on the very same day that he sent his donation to the Kollel Shomrei Hachomos le'iluy nishmas Rabbi Meir Baal HaNess!

The Largest Kingdom of Torah and Chessed in the World

In addition to the special segulah of the Rabbi Meir Baal HaNess tzedokoh and the zechus of the holy tanna, there is also -- not least -- the aspect of regular tzedokoh and Torah support. The fact that we are dealing with yakirei Yerushalayim and a tzedokoh that was founded by the gedolim of previous generations does not detract from the rest of its advantages. It seems worthwhile to stress this point to open with the following story:

In Mezhibuzh, city of the Baal Shem Tov HaKadosh, as was customary in all Jewish communities, masses of poor people came to collect money on erev Yom Kippur during mincha, rattling their plates of money and making a racket. The gabboim were not pleased with the disturbance of the davening at a time when Jews are trembling in awe and saying the long vidui brokenheartedly. They wanted to make a takono forbidding collecting during tefillas mincha.

The Baal Shem Tov HaKadosh said to them, "You should know that the Soton does not have permission to prosecute on Yom Kippur. What does he do? He packs all his prosecution into erev Yom Kippur, ardently saying all his arguments. The noise of the rattling tzedokoh plates and heilige Yidden giving money confuses him and messes up his arguments, and his mouth is sealed from prosecuting."

In many shuls, the plastic plate has taken the place of the tin one. They crowd the tables: "The Widow's Cry," "The Orphans' Outcry," "Talmud Torah X," "Yeshivas Y," "Hachnosas Kallah," "Seforim Library;" the nation has many needs. And holy Jews do give: one coin here, one coin there. They go from plate to plate, think a bit and give.

Now, suppose a person comes into shul and has only one, single coin. He stands in front of the many plates and asks himself, "What is the best investment? Where should I put the coin?" He knows what Hagaon HaKadosh the Sar Shalom of Belz zt'l said on the posuk, "Lo sakpotz es yodecho": When we close the hand, all the fingers appear to be the same size. But when we open it, we see that the first finger is shorter, the second one longer and the third even longer than that. The Torah said, do not think that all tzedokos are equally important like a closed fist, but rather "poso'ach tiftach es yodecho." You should know that some tzedokos are more important than others.

And so, the Yid stands, confused. The holy day is approaching, "Vechato'echo bitzedoko prok," tzedokoh can remove a bad decree -- and he only has one coin!

Which tzedokoh should he choose? Helping widows and orphans? Hachnosas kallah? Gemach fund? Torah learning? Elementary schools? Supporting yeshivos, kollelim? Perhaps a lonely talmid chochom, the sick, a family in distress?

How happy this Yid would be if his problem would be solved. If there were a plate that included everything: help for widows and orphans, the elderly and alone, a free loan fund, hachnosas kallah, Torah learning for the young, yeshivos and kollelim.

Sounds a bit fanciful, no? However, there actually is such a pushka: the tzedokoh of Rabbi Meir Baal HaNess of Kollel Shomrei Hachomos in Yerushalayim! Not only that, but each of the aforementioned items is done in on such a large scale that the kollel is known as the "the largest kingdom of Torah and chessed in the world." Without exaggeration!

We will start with the "kingdom of Torah," which is its primary goal and the reason it was founded. Like the Ksav Sofer zt'l wrote, the kollel was founded "for Tzion's sake will we not be quiet nor detest from supervising its matters. Because I, the treasurer, see the poor of my nation -- Hashem's nation -- occupying themselves in Torah and avoda in a holy place, sanctifying themselves and learning Torah lishma in great hardship. They turn to the generous of the nation, and it is a big mitzva to supervise them as much as possible and support many souls."

Over five hundred avreichim learn in the kollelim of Shomrei Hachomos and support their large families from the monthly stipend, enabling them to toil in Torah and avodas Hashem. But, if you search for a large bais medrash of five hundred avreichim, you will not find it. The Torah is deeper and wider than the oceans, and each person learns what his heart desires: One is gifted in learning bekius, while another learning in depth, and yet another, practical halacha.

The kollel administration, therefore, established seventeen separate kollelim for outstanding avreichim. There is a Kollel Shas to gain broad knowledge of all masechtos of Shas, in which meticulous monthly tests are given, demanding intensive review. They learn one masechta after another, until the entire Shas is completed and then begun again. This kollel has produced outstanding Torah scholars who have Shas at the tip of their tongues.

Next to it is the Iyun Kollel where avreichim toil in the depths of the sugyos, headed by brilliant roshei kollel. The fruits of their labor are published in the form of chiddushim, carefully reviewed and highly praised by gedolei hador, that earn their authors a generous grant, as well as many seforim on various Torah topics. There is also a kollel for practical halachos which produced many morei halacha, a kollel for dayanim to learn Choshen Mishpat and Even Haezer, a Kodshim kollel, and more. The kollel is under the auspices of gedolei Torah who guide the avreichim through the sugyos to come out with halachos and faculty who test and award those who excel. HaRav Yosef Leiberman, author of Mishnas Yosef, is the general rosh yeshiva of Kollel Shomrei Hachomos, who oversees and guides all kollel activities.

Additionally, there is a yeshiva for outstanding bochurim as well as a talmud Torah containing hundreds of precious children. We did not mention the network of after-school programs and shiurim in Shomrei Hachomos neighborhoods in Batei Ungarin, Sanhedria, Givat Shaul and Ramot.

Hundreds of avreichim receive their kollel salary directly in their bank account, ensuring no embarrassment. Twice a year, in Tishrei and Nisan, the monthly amount is doubled, to defray the high cost of the yomim tovim and new clothing for the large families. Hundreds of widows and orphans as well as hundreds of lonely elderly people also receive a monthly stipend directly in their bank account which is doubled during the holiday months!

In addition to the monthly stipend for avreichim, widows and orphans, and the elderly, over four thousand families of limited means all over the country receive kimcha dePischa and grants for the yomim tovim. The vast sum of about one and a half million shekel (almost $400,000) is distributed.

We still haven't cited the entire scope of the "kingdom of Torah and chessed," for we have not mentioned the Ezras Nisuin fund and neighborhoods for young couples to ease the parents' heavy burden in marrying their many children, kein yirbu. We have not told of the large gemach funds, which save many families, that are run in an incredibly orderly fashion, ensuring the maintenance of the money's value while allowing sizable loans for emergencies such as medical expenses. There is also a huge library that lends scholars and shiurim seforim on the masechta they are currently learning.

We haven't mentioned the huge chessed venture: the beautiful, elaborate nursing home. The nursing home contains a branch that is a veritable hotel, with rooms for couples and singles, a wide range of activities such as shiurim, arts and crafts, physiotherapy and speeches, as well as medical support.

There is a separate branch for non-independent elderly, and it is impossible to describe the efforts to maintain human dignity and respect. The residents are dressed in their own clothing, not hospital gowns, and no effort is spared to wash and bathe them. A sun-bathed deck full of greenery is in the center of the building, and unceasing acts of indescribable chessed are done there. The mitzvah of vehodarto penei zokein and bikur cholim and hatzolas nefoshos are done to the full extent of the meaning of the words!

The extensive activities of all the sectors of the huge "kingdom of Torah and chessed" are done by the kollel administration at tremendous self sacrifice: they all volunteer lesheim Shomayim and receive no salary! The kollel administration in Yerushalayim and chutz la'aretz, kollel leaders and gabboim in all Jewish communities are all volunteers. Every coin given to Rabbi Meir Baal HaNess fund is completely tzedokoh and chessed and is distributed among the various sectors and institutions: seventeen kollelim, yeshiva and talmud Torah, aid to widows, orphans, and elderly, kimcha dePischa and holiday grants. Could there be a bigger zechus, a bigger mitzvah than this?

And now that we know whom we are supporting when we donate to Kollel Shomrei Hachomos, we will quote the words of the Chasam Sofer zt'l, whose spirit rests on the kollel and its activities: "It is our responsibility to strengthen the yishuv in Eretz Yisroel. Not only to help them fulfill the mitzvah of settling in Eretz Yisroel, but for ourselves! Because there is no greater zechus and no bigger brocho and no better goodness than the zechus of supporting the activities of the Rabbi Meir Baal HaNess fund!"

And from now on, when the women put a coin into the Rabbi Meir Baal HaNess Kollel Shomrei Hachomos pushka before licht benching, like the custom of our holy mothers from previous generations, and at any time of happiness or pain cholila, when we donate to Rabbi Meir Baal HaNess Kollel Shomrei Hachomos, we will know to whom we are giving, and in whose merit we are being saved!

All material on this site is copyrighted and its use is restricted.
Click here for conditions of use.