Imagine a young woman...about 24. We’ll call her Esther. And she works as a special education teacher.
Esther is engaged to be married, and her wedding is just three weeks away.
Now, before we get ahead of ourselves and imagine her chuppah, the dancing and the joy, let’s first imagine how Esther is getting ready…
She and her mother have excitedly purchased her wedding dress and the perfect shoes.
Her parents have checked out the hall, chosen the band and picked out the flowers.
In the evenings they sit together and cross things off their lists, happily planning and laughing now and then.
Everything’s almost done (the date is only 3 weeks away, after all) and there are just a few last minute tasks and details to finish up.
Sounds great, doesn’t it?
Now let’s imagine again.
There’s Esther. She’s still working as a teacher.
She’s still engaged and her wedding is still three weeks away.
But wait-her father isn’t there. He abandoned her and her siblings when she was just a little girl. She hasn’t seen him since.
Imagine that her mother and stepfather have been trying to raise their large, blended family for years but they are destitute.
Her mother, suffering from health issues, is immobile and can’t work.
Her father gets a minimal stipend. Loans taken out just so they can get by, have pushed them deep into debt.
Their bank account has been frozen.
Imagine that the poverty in the home is so severe that once Esther gets her teaching job, she instructs that her salary be direct deposited into her parents’ bank account so she can help them at least provide the absolute basics for their family, like bread.
And sometimes a pair of shoes for one of her siblings.
Now once again, imagine that the wedding is three weeks away. But not one wedding preparation has been made. Not one.
No dress, no shoes.
No hall, no band, no flowers.
No planning and definitely- no laughing.
$12,000 is what she needs to make her wedding and it is non existent.
We don't need to imagine Esther. She's real. She is 24, and she is a teacher. But for her, the first scenario above, the joyous, exciting one can only be imagined.
The second scenario is the actual scenario-and the poverty in this one, the suffering- is unimaginable.
Someone asks Esther, “Your wedding is coming up. You’re working! Why haven’t you bought anything for yourself?”
She answers "When I walk into my house, full of people I love, and there's nothing, not even milk or bread, how can I buy
something -anything- for myself?”
Esther’s story reaches Yad Eliezer, with a request for urgent help. Remember, the wedding is just three weeks away..
And an incredible thing happens. A true, unimaginable thing:
A donor hears the story and is moved to do something.
That same day he notifies Yad Eliezer that he wants to help Esther. But not only help with money towards a dress, or a pair of shoes.
Not only with funds towards flowers or a band.
This donor will help with the entire $12,000.
You can try to imagine Esther’s reaction when she receives the incredible news. But you won’t be able to.
She's completely shocked.
She can’t hold back tears of relief, joy and especially, gratitude.
She blesses the donor repeatedly and cannot wait to daven for him and his family, on her wedding day.
It's through this help that Esther will now be able to walk to her chuppah, to dance and to feel the incredible joy that a bride should feel.
She will be able to get married with dignity-something that just a few hours earlier, she could never have imagined.