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Living Higher: Issue 946

To pledge a portion of the maaser of their future chasunah gifts to help their friends in need

Photo: Emes Studios

While Klal Yisrael’s dedication to tzedakah and chesed mean parlor meetings to benefit worthy causes are no longer noteworthy events, the Zichron Mattel parlor meeting held earlier this week was heartwarmingly unique. Headed by the shadchanim Rabbis Meir Levi, Tzodek Katz, and Shloime Lewenstein, the organization helps needy chassanim purchase a respectable wardrobe and the standard gifts for their kallahs.

The event was held in a specially erected tent in Beth Medrash Govoha’s parking lot, and rather than asking the standard donors for contributions, the organizers asked bochurim currently “in the parshah” to pledge a portion of the maaser of their future chasunah gifts to help their friends in need.

Rabbi Menashe Frankel, who emceed the event, quoted the Vorka Rebbe’s interpretation on the Gemara in Taanis. Rav Zeira merited longevity because, says the Gemara, “lo sasti b’takalas chaveirai — I did not rejoice when my friend stumbled.” The Rebbe explained this to mean that not only did Rav Zeira not rejoice when his friend stumbled, but he never allowed himself to rejoice in his own simchah so as long as his friend was in need.

Rabbi Frankel noted how the gathering of so many bochurim determined to be there for each other typified the middah of lo sasti b’takalas chaveirai. Then, in an illustration of this middah taken to another level, he pointed out that Rabbi Shloime Lewenstein, one of the shadchanim who founded Zichron Mattel (Mattel was Reb Shloime’s mother), had actually had another obligation that evening: his own daughter’s sheva brachos. Yet he gave up the opportunity to dance at his own simchah to attend an event that would ensure that other people’s simchahs would be complete.


(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 946)

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