Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Charedi World

8 Adar 5759 - Feb. 24, 1999 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly







Matonos Le'Evyonim Upon Recommendation of the Vaad LeInyonei Tzedokoh

by Betzalel Kahn

Every year, the special Jerusalem Vaad LeInyonei Tzedokoh (Committee for Tzedokoh), under the guidance and leadership of the city's gedolei harabbonim, distributes appeal envelopes for matonos le'evyonim for Purim. These envelopes are placed in mailboxes throughout all chareidi neighborhoods and bear the stamp of the Vaad.

As Purim approaches, the Vaad calls upon the public to make certain that the envelopes in which they send their contributions bear this stamp. As is known, gedolei haTorah from all circles and groups of the chareidi community participate in this committee.

The manner of distributing the envelopes was determined by the rabbonim upon consultation with the tzedokoh trustees of the various neighborhoods, in order to save expenses and to enable larger amounts to be channeled toward the needy. All applications for help are carefully examined by the rabbinical committee. Although there are many such appeals, only a small amount is accepted. Requests for help which were included in last year's appeal were not approved this year.

The rabbonim on the presidium of the committee decided that the appeal be reserved only for special cases, such as for people who must undergo transplants, or invalids whose debts exceed $100,000, especially when the cases involve outstanding talmidei chachomim whom the rabbonim of the committee recognize as such. It was also decided that the monies will be delivered directly to the needy themselves or to their families.

This year there were more than one hundred requests, the majority urgent as well as heart-rending. Priorities were set according to the criteria of the rabbinical committee.

As a result, it was decided to appeal for only 35 cases, which include people who must undergo transplants, needy individuals whose health has reached life endangering situations, converts lacking any means of support, widows, orphans, adopted children, and great talmidei chachomim whose debts are so heavy that they are unable to provide their families with minimal sustenance and have reached the point that their situation impedes their avodas hakodesh.

Although the committee's supervision applies only to the envelopes distributed in the mail in the package containing the symbol of the Vaad Harabbonim LeInyonei Tzedokoh, the rabbinical committee doesn't rule out the need to help other people.

The Committee notes that those who contribute to these important appeals not only fulfill the mitzvah of matonos le'evyonim but are partners to the mitzvo of hatzolas nefoshos. The committee relates that the public has already begun to contribute generously. Committee assistants estimate that if everyone who receives such an pack of envelopes would contribute only 5 shekel per case, each needy person on the list would receive 250,000 shekels.

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