Man awoke to a stranger coming into his sukkah

"A knock came on the wooden boards. I burst into tears right then and there.”

Vaad HaRabbanim , | updated: 4:10 PM

Sukkot in a religious Jerusalem neighborhood
Sukkot in a religious Jerusalem neighborhood
צילום: Shutterstock

“This year we’re all sleeping in the sukkah, all 10 kids. They shut off our electricity because we couldn’t pay the bill. Baruch Hashem the electricity of the sukkah is hooked up to the building itself, so we can have light.”

“Every chol hamoed we play cards and whoever wins gets to have chicken in their soup instead of just broth. I thought that was normal until I got older…”

“I was in my sukkah praying that there should be a miracle and we’d be able to afford new shoes for the kids. Their old pairs didn’t fit and the holiday was coming. Then, a knock came on the wooden boards. It was a man with a check from Vaad HaRabbanim. I burst into tears right then and there.”

These are the tragic stories the likes of which emerge every year, during the time of year which is meant to be most joyful. Hundreds of families in Israel cannot afford the supplies necessary for the holiday of Sukkot, or even to pay their most basic bills.

This Hoshana Rabba, Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, whose Torah learning and prayer schedule are famously full, will dedicate his time to pray for all those who help poor families to afford the holiday.

It is said in The Midrash that G-d told Avraham “If [the Jewish People] do not attain atonement on Yom Kippur, it will be given on Hoshana Rabbah.”

The night of Hoshana Rabba, therefore, is a night of learning & prayer for Jews around the world. Those who are fortunate enough to have food on the table and clothing on their backs this holiday can join Rav Chaim in helping those in need by donating here. A limited number of names will be accepted for the prayer list.

*Details changed to protect the families’ privacy