Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

15 Adar 5762 - February 27, 2002 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









Produced and housed by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Home and Family
Why Me?
by Rivka Golob

Five weeks ago an immediate relative of mine became critically ill. I was devastated, pained and bewildered. A deep sense of despondency overtook me. "Why me? Why doesn't Hashem send this nisoyon to someone else?" It seemed overwhelming in every sense of the word -- technically, financially and emotionally. Almost like slaying a dragon.

At first, I was enveloped by despair. Panic. Fear. Many questions. Lots of arrangements. A whirl of nostalgia, a whirlwind of memories. But there wasn't much time for sitting around and moping. No speculations. No abstract thinking, "If only..." or "Imagine if it weren't true?"

Action. That was the word. I had to do something. So, now what?

The answer escaped my lips as a few tears rolled down my cheeks. "Speak to the rov."

I threw on a coat, pulled out my bus ticket and I was off. Forty minutes and three kilometers later I was formulating my questions.

"Should we travel overseas in spite of the staggering costs, bittul Torah, interruptions in the children's lives?"

The rov's answers were lucid, solid, sound and sensible. "At this point, it is better to stay here." As an afterthought, I threw in another question. I still don't know what prompted me to ask -- I really had no intention of carrying out this idea.

"Should I organize people to say 1000 sifrei Tehillim for him?"

"Definitely. Absolutely. No question about it. Do it right away."

I did. I phoned up several papers, placed advertisements and the next morning I waited for the phone to ring. Ring it did! It never stopped. I embarked on a new career: administrator and manager of a national and international Tehillim network.



"You had an ad about sifrei Tehillim. How does it work?"

"Well, the Tehillim is divided into five Books. Do you think you'd be able to recite any of them today?"

"I don't mind taking on the entire Tehillim. I'll take the entire Tehillim for five days. And if you need me again for next week, let me know."

"How wonderful! May you be gebensht from Above!"

I wrote her down for five sifrei Tehillim for the coming ten days. Fifty complete Books in one fell swoop. I didn't ever imagine that so much chessed could be done by someone I didn't even know, who didn't know me. People who knew we were Yidden in distress and felt they could help in some concrete way.

"Hello... You had an ad about..."

"That's right."

"Well, put me down for Sefer Rishon, Sheini, Shlishi. I say Tehillim every day anyway, so I can just add the name you want on my list at the end."

"Wonderful. Just a minute, I have another call waiting but I'll get back to you." I clicked the flash to receive another call, similar to this one.

"Hello? About the Tehillim..."

"Yes, I'll be right with you..." I clicked back. "Did you say Rishon, sheini, shlishi for as long as I need?"

"Yes, and if you need more just let me know."

"What's your number?"


"Kiryat Sefer?"

"No, Tifrach."

Down south. Was that near Beer Sheva? I had never been there but I was slowly learning Israeli geography. I clicked back to my other caller who offered to help with the children, the dishes, do shopping or go to the hospital.

"Oh please, just saying Tehillim is enough."

"But I'm very serious. I'm a high school girl in Bnei Brak and we go out to do chessed every Thursday anyway. Should I put you on my list?" Since I lived in Jerusalem, I declined, feeling good about the offer, anyway.

The next call was from a teacher, a home room mechanechet in the Bais Yaakov in Zichron Yaakov, half an hour away from Haifa, "Would you like us to split up a few seforim in our eighth grades?" I assured her I would.

It was time for some coffee. Ah, coffee. Just the thought of it infused me with adrenaline. Aromatic granules melting in my pink mug. "Boruch..."

Ring. Ring. I gulped the first sip and reached for the receiver, just in time. "Well, if you really need, I could take on three sifrei Tehillim for the next sixty days."

"It's not too much?"

"No. I've been doing it for the past three years. I get up at five thirty every morning, daven, and say Tehillim on my long bus ride to work and back. I finish up whatever is left over at night."

"How can you keep it up?"

"You know those signs plastered all over Yerusholayim, on buses and everywhere -- Say Tehillim for your Soul. Well, that's a direct message to me. I brings me closer to Hashem. I think my saying Tehillim does more for me than it does for whomever I am praying for!"


"Hello. I saw your ad and was extremely sad to hear of another sick person among Klal Yisroel. You can write me down for two Books and you'll see, soon there'll be good news. Just keep up your bitochon!"

Why was I in pain? Fear? Distress? All is from Above, a message as real as the telephone receiver in my hand.

After another five seforim chalked down to a chevras Tehillim that included 26 boys, and more promises here and there, I was no longer wallowing in self pity and despair. No more slaying dragons. Klal Yisroel was reaching out to help me. I had missed it by moping, looking inwards instead of outward.

I was using my neighbor's cell phone as well as my own phone, both ringing at once. Raanana, Tzefas. Ofakim. I had forgotten about my coffee until I found my two-year- old gulping it from my mug. I was hitting the 300 mark at only ten a.m. The question I had asked the rov was for my own benefit, to learn how much chessed there was, how much Tehillim was already being said.

Just as amazing was the fact that none of the many dozens who had called had pried. "What's the matter..."

The teacher from Zichron was back on the line. "My eighth graders can organize another two hundred and ten complete Tehillim rounds." I was up to six hundred. Initiated by me. And I had asked, "Why me? Why not someone else?"

I was no longer devastated, no longer bewildered.

I had slain the dragon.


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