Monday, 31 May 2010

Helping Baalei Teshuvah

"Chessed Ve'Emet" is involved in a number of Chessed Projects. Our latest global project is centred on helping those returning to Judaism to be able to afford the necessary items they may suddenly need when becoming observant. No Jew should ever lack the financial ability to be able to purchase those necessary items, though it happens that many new "returnees" find themselves strapped for cash when it comes to purchasing their necessary requirements.

This week, being Shavua HaSefer - Book Week - with book prices being highly discounted, we are extending the opportunity to those interested, to take part in making their money go further by aiding those in need of Jewish books, to be able to make purchases this very week.

If you'd like to find our more or take part in this project or any other, see: 
Baalei Teshuvah Mitzvah Fund  for more info. This is truly a special opportunity to help those not fortunate enough to own their own books, to be able to do so.

In amongst books required for Baalei Teshuva, we are assisting

- a Baal Teshuva who is isolated from the Jewish community and living in Europe. For this BT, helping him to have a library is a big chesed and fulfills the verse, "for out of Tzion will go Torah and the word of Hashem from Jerusalem"

- an Oleh Chadash who has come closer to Torah and is becoming more involved in his Torah learning

- a Chatan who is Baal Tshuva and needs appropriate sforim for his new home.

Thank you for your support.

Rabbi Eliyahu  and Shoshanah Shear

Thursday, 27 May 2010

What to Relate to a Shadchan Regarding a Shidduch That Is Not Suitable

When involved in the Shidduchim process, there are times one has to let the Shadchan know that the person they set you up with is not suitable. How do we do this? Can we say whatever we like? Does it harm anyone if they hear everything we want to express about the person we just went on a date with?
The Chofetz Chaim teaches us that there are limitations as to what to tell a Shadchan.
In the book "Guard Your Tongue" Adapted from the Chofetz Chaim we learn on page 180:

"If someone arranged a meeting between two people for shidduch purposes, neither of the two people should unnecessarily relate derogatory information to the middle person about the other. If one of the two is not interested in meeting the other again a reply of, "I dont think that we are suited for each other" is sufficient. If one of the two happened to mention any faults to the middle person, the middle person should not repeat this to the other party, as this would constitute r'chilus (tale bearing). This form of Lashon Hara and r'chilus is quite common, and it often causes long lasting feelings of animosity."

If you are looking for a caring Shidduch service, you are welcome to contact Rav Eliyahu or Shoshanah or to visit our website

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Laws of Lashon Hara related to Shidduchim - 1

We are taught that Rav Yosef Chaim Zonnenveld, Av Beis Din / Rav of Yerushalayim at the end of the 1800's was very involved in making shidduchim and guiding young couples to marry early. Through the work he did to encourage young couples, there were times he had to highlight to a young Jew or Jewess that they had been bitten by the Lashon Hara bug and need to ignore things others say and move forward with a given shidduch. 

Over a few blog posts, we hope to list some laws of guarding ones tongue that are crucial to Shidduchim.

The information listed below comes from the book "Guard your tongue" Adapted from the Chofetz Chaim, page 176 on the section of Rechilus (tale bearing)

The Torah Law regarding whether one can tell a prospective marriage partner about a Serious Internal Illness

If either of the prospective marriage partners has a major physical deficiency, such as a serious illness that is not generally discernable, you are permitted to inform the other party. HOWEVER, you must meet the following conditions:

 A) You must be certain that the choson or kallah is actually ill.  Instances when he or she is merely weak by nature are not included in this category and such information should not be volunteered.

 B) You must be careful not to exaggerate the extent of the illness.

 C) You must be motivated by concern for the person you are warning, not by any considerations of dislike for the other party.

D) If you feel that they will marry despite your advice, you should REFRAIN from mentioning the matter. Since nothing beneficial will emerge from your warning, it is FORBIDDEN.

May we all be zocher to master the laws of Guarding Ones Tongue - Shmiras HaLashon. 

For those serious about finding the right shidduch, you are welcome to be in touch with us for our Shidduch Service

If you would like to set up a regular learning session to learn the Laws of Guarding Ones Tongue more indepth, please contact Rabbi Eliyahu Shear or Shoshanah

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Mazal Tov, Mazal Tov !!!

 Mazal Tov, Mazal Tov .....

 Dear Rabbi Eliyahu and Shoshanah

I just wanted to thank you both sooooo much for all your encouragement, davening at Kivrei Tzaddikim, including me in the International Womens Tehillim list and everything you have done to help this shidduch come about. That's right, I would like to let you know that I am a Kallah. I cant wait for the big day, but first I needed to thank you both.
If you are able to make it, we would love for you to attend our Chuppah. I will be sending out invitations shortly but wanted you to be one of the first to know.

Thank you again for everything. Oh, and by the way, we remembered that you do Simchah Photography too. Please let us know when we can meet to discuss the possibility of you (your amazing husband and wife team) photographing our Chuppah and Simchah. 

It is so exciting, thanks again.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Helping Others with Purity - Our Projects Featured on chabadinfo

The post below was written by Rabbi Fishel Jacobs, Author, Rabbi, Retired Major from the Israeli Prisons and Karate expert. As you can see in the image prior to the post, this appeared in today, 17 May 2010
Just a couple of years ago, two ideas arose. They were simple, yet more incredibly important than anyone even then imagined. Now, they are making lives better. A lot of lives. And it’s growing from day to day.

One project is called: Bayit Chadash (A New Home). It’s for newlyweds with insufficient funds for—basic needs.

Case in point: Sarah came to study in a women’s seminary in Jerusalem. Her father had died when she was only ten. Subsequently, Sarah was raised by her loving mom. Sarah came from a Jewish neighborhood in Philadelphia, but her move didn’t make her mother too happy. “It’s dangerous in Israel,” mom thought.

Three years after arriving in Israel, Sarah was already engaged to a wonderful Israeli boy. The only problem was that he came from a poor family. Then, out of the blue, Sarah’s mom died in a car accident—only two months before the wedding.

Sarah’s girlfriends from seminary raised the money for the wedding.

But there was nothing left for the wedding night. Or the first week of married life.

That’s where Bayit Chadash (A New Home), and its founders, Rabbi Eliyahu and Shoshana Shear, of Jerusalem, rushed to the rescue.

“When we first heard about Sarah, ” Shoshana recalls. “We didn’t know where to turn for help. It was heartbreaking. But, we knew—with Hashem’s help—we would be able to help.”

“We turned to local people,” Rabbi Eliyahu adds. “From the beginning, this type of story did not fall on deaf ears. People began to help us help others. It has all been grass roots.”

The Bayit Chadash project was beginning to help a lot of people, the kind who really needed it, right at the time they needed it.

Bayit Chadash had grown out of another Project that caught the Shears attention. The Shears had been shocked to learn about yet another area in desperate need of fixing.

It was about costs relating to immersion in a kosher mivkah. “Considering other costs, traveling costs, entrance fees etc. we discovered many people were simply unable to make the payments. It was horrifying,”  says Rabbi Shear and so Purity with Dignity was born. To reach out for as broad public support as possible, we looked for a known rabbinic figure to back us. Someone who would be sensitive to these areas.”

They found one.

“From the moment I heard about these projects,” says Rabbi Fishel Jacobs, of Kfar Chabad, “I knew they were something special beyond my wildest imagination. The Shears are not only helping defray immersion related costs, they are literally making embarking into a life of marriage not something to dread. Rather into that special dream it is meant to be.”

“I encourage the public to visit the links to these two sites. Help the Shears help our fellow Jews. Do it now.”

To see more, and to make online contributions, go to Purity With Dignity  or Bayit Chadash, now.

“Every little bit helps,” Rabbi Shear adds. “Make a newlywed happy today. Go to these sites and give what you can, now.”

Purity with Dignity helps the Mikvah of the Old City

As many in Yerushalayim were preparing for the onset of Rosh Chodesh, Purity with Dignity was busily at work. Mostly people think that those Yidden living in the Old City of Yerushalayim are financially very happy. However, a debt had amounted to the women's Mikvah of the Old City of Yerushalayim amounting to NIS 1060. One of the families was especially experiencing much difficulty.

Purity with Dignity has covered this debt and provided a food package for the family who was suffering the most. The women concerned were now able to enter the new month of Sivan free from any debts (at least to the Mikvah).

The one family who did not have the means for busfare for their children or food to put on the table, were able to begin Rosh Chodesh and Shabbat, not only free from debt but with food items and certain basics for the kitchen like sandwich bags, cleaning sponges.

Please join us in assisting further women in Eretz Yisrael to fulfill their mitzvah of Taharas HaMishpacha with Dignity. 

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

A One Week Challenge - Day 1

As we complete our 49 days of counting the Omer, leading up to Shavuot, a friend on Face Book posted the following. "If everyone treated others with the great respect that Hashem desires think of what this world could become..."

I asked her how she thought we can fulfill this, and her response was:

"make sure we greet everyone we see or look at and make sure they know that their presence has not gone unnoticed :) "

She and I decided to make this a 1 week challenge. We invite all Jews to join us.

Today is day 1 and already 2 women on Face Book have joined us. Let us make this a positive ripple effect. Together let us increase Simchah, Appreciation, Kavod to our fellow, Derech Eretz and Unity.

The Great Shamai taught us to greet everyone with a happy countenance, here this teaching has been slightly extended to also letting them know they are appreciated and noticed.

Are you willing to join our challenge?

The Challenge finishes on Monday 4th of Sivan, the 17th May, just 2 days before Shavuot.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Helping our Fellow Jew - Purity with Dignity

Many think that helping a family in need consists of giving them a warm bowl of soup and their needs are taken care of.

I was just talking to the Mikvah Lady of one of the Mikvaot in Jerusalem to find out what their current situation is. She explained that many women have begun putting a coin or a few coins aside whenever they can so that they have their mikvah money when they need it. The Mikvah lady is able to know this by the fact that they come with a bag of small coins and nervously count out each coin to add up to the amount required.

However, some women struggle even to do this. She described one family in particular whose situation is so dire that they are scratching the walls trying to cover basics. They don't have the means for bus fares, they dont have basic food and the lady of the house has run up a bill to the Mikvah of NIS 450.

Please help us to cover this Mikvah debt on her behalf. If you can give a little extra, via the woman in charge of the Mikvah, we would be happy to assist with bus fare. Those who are able to donate food items, either in terms of tins, dried beans or other food items, please email us to make arrangements.

Monetary donations can be sent via the donate button below.

Thank you for your kindness.
Hashem is the One who grants blessing to the one who helps others.
Therefore, the real thanks comes from Hashem.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Purity with Dignity - Helping Jewish Women Fulfill the Mitzvah

I recently had occasion to speak to a certain Jewish Woman here in Eretz Yisrael. I was describing to her about our Mikvah Project - Purity with Dignity. I did not expect what proceeded from there. I was used to hearing of Jewish women who could not afford the Mikvah expenses due to having been ill, being re-trenched, a reduction in clients. However, this story was disturbing.

This woman is a qualified nurse, she works in a few facilities, one of them being Kupat Cholim (National Health). She interviewed to work in this facility, agreed upon the hours of work, salary and began working. The end of the month came and no sign of any salary. When she made enquiries she was told that there was a procedure to follow and until it was complete she had to wait for her salary.

What was she to do to pay her bills? The Kupat Cholim had no answer neither was it perturbed. She was told to wait and assured she would be paid the full months once the process was complete. She asked for an advance on her salary and after more time elapsed was granted NIS 1000. By this time 6 weeks of working had passed and NIS 1000 was not enough to pay  all their bills.

She and her husband struggled, but thought at the end of the next month, the 2 months salary would come and they would be OK. That month ended, still no salary. When 3 months had passed, she had to turn to a neighbour for help. They had run out of basic food. She was working but not getting paid.

How did this affect her going to the Mikvah? Since finance was low and they did not have all the toiletries she needed, she had to use toiletries from the Mikvah. The Mikvah ladies were very kind in supplying what she needed and the time to herself to relax in a bath and prepare for her Mikvah was rather therapeutic. But the Mikvah had to cover its costs. The supplies provided had to be paid for and the water used etc had to be paid for. Her fees were written in a book, for when her salary would arrive. So 3 months and more added up.

When her salary did come, with utter amazement our nurse discovered that her bills exceeded the salary. She had not budgeted for the amounts coming off her salary. How is an Olah Chadashah to know how much goes to taxes, how much to Bituach Leumi etc, we just know what amount per hour is promised to us.

So time elapsed and the bill to the Mikvah increased. Now we are appealing to you, the caring Jewish community to assist in paying this (and other bills like it) that have amounted.

The fact that this Jewish professional woman had to wait months to receive her salary is alarming. This issue we will try to address in another blog post. We can not change the whole system, at least not overnight. (if you can think of how to improve it, please do let us know) But we can help to ease the burden and embarrassment for a Jewish woman and help her to fulfil her mitzvah of Family Purity with Dignity

Monday, 3 May 2010

Children's Activity Groups to Improve Learning and Writing Skills

Many children need some assistance in writing effectively. Sometimes they are referred to Occupational Therapy (OT) due to poor pencil grip, sometimes due to pressing too hard, sometimes they have difficulty sitting at the table or tire easily.

Many of the parents would enjoy private OT sessions but grumble about the fee. For this reason, I am putting together groups of 4-6 children to work on similar goals towards enabling them to sit quietly in a class, learn effectively and write beautifully and with ease.

The advantage of the group, other than reducing cost, is that it is fun for the children to "play or do exercises" together. In this way they don’t feel odd or different but part of a group working towards a common goal.

Children who would benefit from these writing or pre-writing groups need to be 4 years and up. To sign up for a group, a letter of recommendation from the ganenet or teacher is needed.

Each child will need to undergo an evaluation in order to determine which group will be appropriate.

To schedule an appointment for your evaluation and to be allocated to the appropriate group, please email

For those interested, private individual sessions are available for exclusive clients. Also offered in the comfort of your own home for exclusive clients in the Jerusalem area.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Shoshanah Shear
Registered Occupational Therapist with 19 years experience.


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