“It was the day of my wedding, and my father and sisters and I were almost ready to leave for the hall. Down the hallway I heard my sister scream, and saw that my father was on the floor. He had had a heart attack. I was in disbelief. We lost him that day. The wedding was cancelled, of course, and we went straight into shiva. Dad had raised us alone after Mom passed away, and we were lost as to what to do next. He had many debts, which we knew nothing of, and we used our own money to pay the rest of the wedding expenses which could not be refunded.
For a full year, I worked as a nurse to save up money to re-make the wedding. We sold everything we had before to help take care of my siblings, and repay our debts. I am starting from scratch.” Tamar, 23*
Rav Gershon Edelstein has once again stepped in to take responsibility for a group of young people who have suffered both the loss of a parent, and crushing financial strain. His blessing for those who join him in this endeavor is “that they and their descendants will grow in Torah, fear of Heaven and good character traits with peace of mind and a ksiva v’chasima tova.”
38 orphaned brides & grooms living in Israel have been selected this month by Kupat Ha’Ir’s screening process. The monthly orphan wedding campaign’s reputation precedes it: Many gedolim have come out in support of the fund, and have volunteered their time for the cause, including but not limited to Rav Chaim Kanievsky shlit”a, Rav Biderman shlit”a, and Rav Shimon Galai shlit”a.
The goal of the fund is to raise $1,000 for each couple, a modest yet significant sum which would allow them to purchase essentials such as catering, a wedding hall, or second-hand appliances for their future home. These special young people will walk to their chuppahs alone with this month, but with the help of strangers, and Rav Edelstein, they may rest assured that they will have what they need.
* Unless they have personally experienced getting married after the loss of a parent, it can be difficult for readers to understand the extent of the trauma and the validity of the need for support. The above story is told to illustrate why this fund is so crucial. The orphans getting married this month prefer that their details remain private. For that reason, this story is not any one individual’s story, it is a combination of details from many cases.