New details have emerged regarding previously anonymous members of Rav Chaim Kanievsky’s family, including 7 young orphans who are now on the verge of starvation after the untimely passing of their mother. Their story was initially released without names, together with a handwritten letter from Rav Chaim.
The name of the nifteres is now confirmed as Miriam Epstein a”h. Miriam battled with cancer for 5 years before passing away recently, leaving behind 7 children and husband Yaakov to raise and support them alone. Their situation has become so dire that Rav Kanievsky released the following urgent appeal to the Jewish People on their behalf:
“Our hearts are broken and ours eyes darkened by the passing of my relative, the wife of the avrech shlit”a. It is surely a great mitzvah to help her seven orphans.
Each person who helps these orphans … his prayers and all his requests will be answered from Heaven. Chaim Kanievsky ”
Miriam a”h was reportedly a great-granddaughter of Rav Elyashiv zt”l. This eloquent public appeal is a rare peek into Rav Chaim’s family life, and the prestigious network of cousins descended from the greatest talmidei chachamim of our generation. Their prestige, however, has not guarded them from tragedy. The young father and his children are currently devastated by their loss, and in danger of homelessness.
Those who wish to respond to the Rav Kanievsky’s request of the public in comforting the impoverished aveilim can do so via their emergency fund.