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Catch of the Day

 “You came here to thank me,” she told Miri. “However, I must thank you”


Sarah* was having a tough pre-Pesach day.

Living in Israel has its challenges. However, living in a smaller settlement community, one is “privileged” to experience “special challenges.”

That morning, her entire family overslept as there was a hafsakat chashmal (power failure) during the night, causing her alarm clock to keep flashing 4:00… and disabling its alarm.

Hurrying her family through breakfast, she knocked over her coffee onto the new carpet she had bought for Pesach.

To make matters worse, her coworker at the boutique called in sick. When Sarah arrived to open the store, there was already a long line of impatient customers waiting to enter.

After an exhausting day at the boutique, Sarah was glad to head over to her true passion, the local branch of Yad Leah.


Yad Leah, an organization dedicated to distributing and selling (for a token fee) gently preworn clothing in Israel, was founded by two chesed-minded women in 2003.

Karen Thaler, originally from Teaneck, New Jersey, and presently living in Beitar, decided to bring back a suitcase of clothes to families she knew could benefit from them. Soon after, recognizing the enormity of the need, she partnered with her childhood friend, Jessica Katz (also from Teaneck and presently living in Clifton, New Jersey) to establish Yad Leah.

Jessica began in her living room, and together with her children, started sorting the clothing. The donations poured in. Soon Jessica was renting large storage facilities and shipping over 7,000 boxes yearly, benefitting over 10,000 families with “stores” in 30 communities around Israel.

Each day, after her shift at the boutique, Sarah donates her time and expertise at the local Yad Leah.


Miri, a woman Sarah knew from the neighborhood, was waiting for her at the Yad Leah outlet. But unlike those waiting that morning at her boutique, Miri was calm, quiet, and somewhat shy.

“Can I help you with anything?” Sarah asked.

The next thing she knew, a perplexed Sarah was given the most loving hug possible and became the recipient of a deluge of brachos and thanks. Finally, after Miri had regained her composure, she explained.

“Sarah, I know you don’t know me well. Two weeks ago, right after Purim, my son got married. The girl’s family couldn’t contribute financially, so we agreed to foot the bill unilaterally. We refused to accept tzedakah. Instead, to save money, we as a family, including all our children, married and single, agreed to forgo new clothes for the chasunah and Pesach.

“But as the chasunah approached, reality set in: The chassan’s sisters had nothing suitable to wear for the upcoming chasunah and Yom Tov.

“Tension and even traces of resentment began to take hold of our family. Then someone suggested coming here to the Yad Leah outlet. That suggestion saved our family and was the primary cause of making my son’s chasunah a truly memorable and simchah-filled event. Not only were we able to outfit the whole family properly for the chasunah, we also found clothes for Yom Tov at minimal cost.

“You just asked how you could help me. You helped me afford clothing for my family, and more importantly, you restored the simchah to our family for our chasunah and removed all potential resentment. Because of Yad Leah, our simchah was complete.”

Sarah stood there, tears running down her face. “You came here to thank me,” she told Miri. “However, I must thank you. You have no idea how your words have just changed my day — previously just full of countless petty challenges — into one of the happiest days I can remember. Your words made me realize that as much as you think I did for you, you did much more for me.”


(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 1009)

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