By Boruch Sholom Wolf
Tragedies involving young mothers or fathers in these days are thank G-D few and far between. The latest data indicates that the average lifespan has recently increased to record highs. We all enjoy immortal lives knowing that the odds of sudden death are virtually nil.
Sadly, when one falls outside the perimeter of the common and becomes a statistic, the grief of the family is immeasurable. Yet worse, many families cannot use their allotted time of grieving, for the sudden tragedies become compounded by a new reality of losing a breadwinner.
Even if the spouse who passes on is the minority breadwinner, and the primary breadwinner is still alive, the new burden of the widow/widower undertaking the role of ‘parent times two’, will without question diminish one’s ability to earn a livelihood. His/her elevated focus on the family simply eats away at time that was previously devoted towards the earning of parnassa for their family.
Though the grief of loss is inconsolable, the dignity of a stable parnassa can alleviate much of the financial element of the tragedy. We have all heard of the idiom of ‘an ounce of prevention is greater than a pound of cure’. I am of course referring to life insurance. We all need to insure that our families are insured for such tragedies. We pray to G-D that each cent invested into this should be lost to a long life, just as one hopes that auto, health and fire insurance turn out to remain unused and rendered retroactively a bad investment.
Many struggle to buy the daily basics and neglect this long term necessity. For this I propose an initiative to stimulate the purchase of policies. Though each family deserves parnassa and ‘term’ coverage, as a modest proposal I suggest we try to expand this for shluchim as one of the Shluchim’s courtesy services offered to the already impressive array. Thanks to Genady Bagulubov’s generosity (administered through Merkos), there is currently financial aid for Shluchim’s simchas. Let’s try to do the same for helping to subsidize shluchim and shluchos’ life insurance policies.
I don’t know the proper outfit to administer such an initiative, but whoever can undertake this, tovoi aleihem brocho. I will attempt to outline a sample way to raise funds. Let’s begin with the masses that purchase life insurance. Whoever can should strive to contribute 5% of the cost of their premiums to this fund. If one cannot do 5%, than any amount they can contribute is great, and likewise, if they want to contribute a larger amount, they shouldn’t be turned down! With the generosity of Lubavitchers and friends of Chabad, the fund can be capitalized.
Another dimension can be that life insurance brokers who are generous of heart sign up to contribute a percentage of their profits to this fund. Participation by brokers in this initiative can also incentivize shluchim and anash to give them the business of brokering their policies. A final dimension of capitalization is of course through private/foundations’ generous contributions. This is merely a skeleton of a proposal which can serve as a sample of how to outline a comprehensive fund.
Though it may be unrealistic to fully subsidize all shluchim’s policies, it may grow to an extent that 20%-50% of their policies would be. This can serve as the stimulus that is the ‘makeh b’patish’ (the ‘make it or break it’) for a shliach or shlucho that may otherwise refrain from purchasing a policy.
May we merit to know no more tzaar with the coming of Moshiach speedily in our days.
Note from author: I mean no offense to non shluchim who interpret this proposal as giving more importance to families of Shluchim over general anash. That is not my intention, G-D forbid. Every family deserves to be looked after, and if one knows of a family in need, we all have the obligation as brothers to help. It’s just too broad of a problem for my capacity to tackle, so I propose to tackle a much more doable segment (due to its limited size) which is the families of shluchim, as an extension of the services they already enjoy.