Monday, 14 December 2015

Continuing the Light of Chanukah


As Chanukah is drawing to an end, let's take a moment to consider the beauty of the light from Chanukah. Chanukah represents the miracle of oil that continued for 8 days, the oil for the Menorah in the Beis HaMikdash. The greatest light we bring to this world is really the light that our enemy tried to put out and that is the light of Torah.

If you have a busy schedule or would like the opportunity to learn from the comfort of your own home, then our online Torah learning is ideal for you. Torah learning is important now more than ever.

We have learning opportunities for all different levels of Torah learning and ages.

Here is a recommendation sent in to us just a little before Chanukah:
"Baruch Hashem  I have the ability to learn with my dear friend and teacher Rabbi Eliyahu every day.This is the highlight of my morning and I look forward to this every day.
He's vast knowledge of Torah, Nigleh and Penimuyus Hatorah, is amazing and his ability to give this knowledge over and share is truly remarkable. I refer to him as my ״Wikipedia Rov" ,the Rov with all the answers.
I recommend  to take advantage of modern technology and hook up with this amazing Talmid Chacham and Mench, for the most inspirational learning."

Yisroel Drutman
Johannesburg ,South Africa

Do take a look at our website and be in touch to schedule your online Torah learning.
http://www.lovingkindness.co/learn-torah.html

We look forward to hearing from you

Shoshanah Shear 

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Our Developing Bridal Gown Gemach


Yesterday I spoke to someone who runs a Bridal Gown Gemach in a different city. During the conversation, she mentioned that the prices for her bridal gown rental ranges from ₪1000 - ₪1900. She listened to my goal to offer lower prices for our bridal gown rental and a service to orphans of paying for the dry cleaning only. She thought it a nice idea but said with all the work and expenses involved, the only way this can be done is if we have a sponsor for each orphan Kallah's gown. 

The time taken to help a Kallah to select her bridal gown is 1-2 hours and there are times a Kallah might select her gown, go through alterations etc and then disappear. Presumably having found something else although there are times too that a wedding gets cancelled. Still, time and expenses were incurred and somehow have to be covered.

This is one goal we have for the sale of household and other items. We invite you to come and visit our developing sale of items. A percentage of the price you pay goes towards helping to continue to grow our service helping orphans in a meaningful way. Currently, some of the items are on our FB page ready for sale. We are working towards being able to upgrade our website so as to activate the shipping calculator and other eCommerce features in order to have online sales happening too. Online sales will be for items that are easy to ship and not breakable. All other items are available from us in person. 

Regarding our items for sale, we are busy researching the most appropriate type of store to develop this into. If you now of a good business consultant who is prepared to offer some guidance, we are on the look out for the right business consultant.

If you like what we are developing, there are a few other ways you can get involved. You can  sponsor the rental of a bridal gown for an orphan Kallah. Our bridal gown rental prices are currently at under ₪1000.

If you have sewing skills on a level to repair or alter bridal gowns and you live in or near Jerusalem, you can volunteer your time and expertise for bridal gown alternations. Some of our bridal gowns are in need of repairs before we start to show them to Kallot. We had someone who was going to assist but she is currently overseas.

Next on the agenda, will be a lovely slide show, being prepared as we type, to help you see why renting suitable space is so very important at this time.

Thank you to anyone interested in the very big Mitzvah of Hachnasat Kallah, especially for orphan brides in Jerusalem.

Have a very blessed day

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Bonus with Your Online Chatan and Kallah Lessons


Are you getting married? Needing to learn the laws of family purity or to take a refresher course?

Chessed Ve'Emet offers both Chatan and Kallah lessons online and in person. Chatanim have the opportunity to learn with Rabbi Eliyahu Shear, a very knowledgeable rabbi with a lot of wisdom and great sense of humour. Kallot learn with Shoshanah Shear who is both a Kallah teacher and an occupational therapist and healing facilitator.

The lessons are text based and go at your pace. Please note, there is a lot of material to cover so do give yourselves time before getting married to complete all the required information. A letter is provided to take to the Rabbanut to verify that you have completed the required material.

We are offering an amazing special to couples signing up and paying for Chatan and Kallah lessons by Monday 23rd November that you will receive a gift from our discount store to the value of NIS 50. For those who know our store, this is great value.

The offer is for a limited time so hurry to receive your gift.

We look forward to hearing from you

Shoshanah Shear
Chessed Ve'Emet

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Thinking About the Orphan Kallah


I was doing a search for ideas for a poster we have just designed regarding our bridal gowns and household items for rent and sale. There are such stunning images related to weddings. So much beauty. So much care. So much extravagance. And yet, the wedding business flourishes and couples the world over spend fortunes on their special day. On the one hand, why not?! It is a day that makes memories and begins the real unity for the start of a new home, the potential of a new family and continuity of another world.

One of the hardest things for someone who is an orphan especially and who comes from a poor home too, is this glamour and beauty is mostly not an option for them. It is not even a question of freedom of choice, lack of funds dictates that beauty and choice do not feature.

If one has a small wedding out of your own desire for a small wedding, that is your decision and you can then be happy with the special day. However, if your wedding is very small only due to others refusing to help you, then you are or can be left with sadness related to a day that should be the happiest of your life. 

This is some of what the Mitzvah of Hachnasat Kallah is all about. Though some say just elope, or just get married at a Beth Din with two witnesses, Torah understands the heart of the Kallah who wants some beauty on her special day. A wedding can be beautiful on a budget too, however, the Kallah does need to have some freedom of choice. This is her special day not the communities and the Mitzvah is there to encourage the community to have compassion and help her to feel special.

Have you stopped to think about the needs of an orphan bride, an orphan Kallah? Are you able to recognize that she has just as much right to a beautiful, joyous day as you do? What are you prepared to do to help make her day special?

I'd love to hear your thoughts as we need your help to move our Bridal Gowns and household items to more suitable space. Are you willing to assist? Are you willing to host a sale, to book a service, to share a crowd fundraiser? If your answer is yes, please do be in touch.

Have a blessed day

Shoshanah Shear

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Getting to Know You!

Getting to know our audience. A few days ago, someone challenged me to chat to someone in our audience during the week. It could be on FB, in a FB group, a reader to one of our blogs. The challenge sounded interesting so I began to make contact. So far I have messaged a few followers to our FB groups and invited them to chat on Skype for 5 minutes. I have posted in our FB groups inviting any of our members to chat with us for 5 minutes on Skype. So far we have not had anyone take us up on the offer.

This time I am taking it to one of our blogs and inviting any of the readers who follow this blog to be in touch. We'd love to get to know you better. We'd love to hear what kind of posts you enjoy, what you are looking for and just to get to know you a little more.

I would like to think that social networking has not totally robbed us of regular communication. What do you say? Are you interested in chatting for 5 min on Skype?

If you would like a theme to the conversation, then one question that is upper most on my mind is what area of Torah would you like to learn and what do you think about learning Torah online?

Looking forward to hearing from you

Shoshanah Shear 

Monday, 9 November 2015

Time to Learn Torah


With an increase of all kinds of darkness in the world be it terror, weather, economy or something else causing you stress, it is time for an increase in warmth and light. No I am not advocating taking a trip to a desert island or some exotic cruise. I have something else in mind entirely. It is called opening up to the source of light that brings with it warmth, peace and all good things. 

If you would like to learn Torah online for your own growth and enjoyment. If you have begun a path of return to Torah and need some guidance; or even if you are searching to learn Torah online for conversion we have a service that could be perfect for you. If you would love to learn Torah from the comfort of your own home and are open to learning online from a distance, then you have come to the right place. 

Chessed Ve'Emet offers a range of services all geared to increasing Torah and Acts of Loving Kindness in the world. The Torah learning can be done individually or in small groups, online or in person. Learn at your own pace on a topic of your choice or a Sefer of your choice. If you have any questions, you are welcome to post a comment below. If you are ready to sign up for a Shiur or a series of Shiurim, please visit our website at www.lovingkindness.co

We look forward to hearing from you

Shoshanah Shear

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Teach Your Children to Learn English, Hebrew and Kindness to Animals

 




What would you do if an animal that is not your pet ended up lost in your yard? Are you allowed to keep it? Would you know what to do?


Is it important for you that your children learn how to be kind to animals?

Would you like your children to have a good grasp of both English and Hebrew?

If you answer yes to any or all of these, then our children's book is just what you are looking for. "Tuvia Finds His Freedom" by Eliyahu and Shoshanah Shear, illustrated with photographs is available for sale in both English and Hebrew on Amazon.com, bookdepository.com and a number of other online sites for selling books.

Purchase it online in either language or purchase both and provide your child the opportunity to gain vocabulary in both languages while enjoying a sweet story that demonstrates kindness to a lost animal.

If you have any questions, do be in touch.

If you would like a book reading with discussion for a group of children in your home, please be in touch for this too.

Have a wonderful, blessed day / evening

Shoshanah Shear
Chessed Ve'Emet



Monday, 2 November 2015

Bridal Gowns on the Move


Most of our Bridal Gowns are now in a spare room of someone in our area. As you can see in the image, there is not very much space. Behind the gowns is a sofa that they have no other place to put, to the left is other furniture of theirs. What can we say, to make this a successful extension to our work, we need to move to larger space. 

So we are preparing a Sale. We are busy finding out what to call it. Would you believe there are so many types of sales and each has a different connotation?

We have many wonderful items for sale:

  • Books
  • Clothes
  • Baby items
  • Judaica
  • Dishes
  • Glasses
  • Make-up and lots more

We're busy pricing the items, many of our items are going on sale, need to move stock to reduce our moving expenses.

It's very exciting, come and be a part of it.

Shoshanah Shear

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Uziya Tzadok brings Joy to a Couple at the Chuppah

On this blog you might have seen posts about bringing joy to an orphan Chatan or Kallah. There are very many ways to bring joy to a new couple on their wedding day.

What do you think of this as an option?


Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Frustrations with Crowdfundraising

It's been a while since I posted about what we have learned regarding crowd fundraisers. Currently, we have hit a bit of frustration. It's been a number of weeks since our last campaign ended and no sign of the bit donated coming through. We are learning the hard way that some crowd fundraising websites are far more user friendly than others and far more affordable. This last one has a high percentage that they charge and it's takes a long time to get any answers to questions sent in. If you are considering doing a crowd fundraiser, make a criteria easy communication and good service from the help desk. It makes a world of difference to working on your campaign. 

If you donated towards our last crowd fundraiser, we are very grateful for your contribution and whatever is holding up the funds coming through will be ironed out.

In the meantime, we are reviewing our options to bring in funds while developing our centre. There is a lot on the go behind the scenes. One thing I can say for certain, if you have a dream, don't lose sight of the goal when you reach a road block. Sometimes one has to take a detour and sometimes a different fork in the road, but keep striving for your goal. I like to remember the song "Nothing is impossible, as long as you believe!"

What helps to give you strength or motivation when you face challenges? 

Shoshanah Shear
Chessed Ve'Emet

Friday, 23 October 2015

The Beauty of Nature and Perek Shira

One of the best ways to replenish ones strength, to find inspiration in life is to look to nature. In the video below you are invited to enjoy beautiful music and song provided as an accompaniment to stunning images of nature. Watch the beauty that G-d created for us. Let it fill you with peace, inspiration, wonder, appreciation. Thank Hashem for creating such incredible beauty. Beauty for us to enjoy together. Let the love, peace and unity enter your hearts and rekindle your connection with our Creator.



Have a beautiful day and a blessed Shabbat

With love

Shoshanah Shear
Chessed Ve'Emet

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Progress of our book in Hebrew



We have been working hard on several projects this year, ie 2015. A very fun one has been the publishing of our first children's book "Tuvia Finds His Freedom." The book has been translated into Hebrew thanks to our good friend Dana Baum after which my husband added the vowels (Nikud). We then had to prepare the cover for the Hebrew, alter the format so that the captions of the images are in Hebrew. Next came proofing the copy, checking all the vowels, the formatting etc. This has been done twice and our book is now in the process to be available for sale. 

Within the next few days, we should be able to share the links for where the book "Tuvia Finds His Freedom" will be available in both English and Hebrew. In the meantime, here are the links of where to obtain the book in English. "Tuvia Finds His Freedom" Written and Photographed by Eliyahu and Shoshanah Shear is available on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.ca, BookDepository, eStore of CreateSpace. Ask for it in your local book store, you might just find it there too. If not, you can show them this review and encourage them to sell the book.

It is very exciting to share progress. We look forward to the next step of letting you know when and where the Hebrew version is available for sale.

Have a blessed day

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Learning from Nature


Someone recently came to this blog searching for "learning from nature". It made me think! What lesson can we learn that is pertinent to today? I thought of a number of photographs I have taken of flowers and the various insects that fly around, sit on and benefit from the flowers. Let us look at the bee for a moment. Yes it might have a sting, but mostly, the sting is not the number one function of the bee. The bee will fly from flower to flower to collect the nectar. The bee benefits from the nectar in two ways, one for his muscles in order to fly and two to make honey.

The bee is also involved in pollination by spreading the pollen from flower to flower. I wont get into the biology here or the different kinds of bees and the difference between them; but an important fact is that the bee forms 80% of the insects involved in pollination. Thanks to the bee perching on flowers and collecting it's nectar, we as humans benefit both from the tasty and nutritious honey and flowers, fruits, vegetables and nuts continue to reproduce thanks to the bee.

The contrast of colour, shape, size etc between the bee and the flowers also provides a beauty in nature. If one needs to relax, spending a little time watching the bees and other insects in nature is very calming. Taking time to photograph, draw or paint the scene on sees is also relaxing.

What is the lesson here? If we work together, allowing each aspect of the beautiful creation that G-d gave us, then everyone benefits. If a flower does not have the insects for pollination they will die without further flowers of that kind. If the bee does not have the flowers, they will not produce honey or be able to carry out their other functions. If the flower and the bee refuse to work together, everyone misses out. There needs to be co-operation. There needs to be variety. But there also needs to be respect that a bee can not become a flower and a flower can not become a bee. They each contribute to the healthy, beautiful functioning of our planet by doing what they do best in the role G-d gave to them.

A few words of inspiration for you by 
Shoshanah Shear
Chessed Ve'Emet

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Reflecting on Current Events and Our Work


Towards the end of Elul someone wanted to donate an item to our Bayit Chadash Gemach and asked a number of questions about who we assist. When she heard that we focus on assisting orphans, currently at the time they marry, she asked where the Chatanim and Kallot come from and why they are orphans. As a suggestion she asked if they were from broken homes, perhaps taken away from their parents? This is a question we get often. Sadly, too many can not understand why or how someone can be without parents at whatever stage of their development that the loss of their parents occurred. Many can not understand the difficulties or struggles of one who is an orphan. Some get angry with me and say someone whose parents died is not in need of help, they must learn to help themselves, or so I get told. I also get asked, why do we specifically give new items to the Chatanim and Kallot we assist.

Over the past few days, 14 children became orphans in sudden and tragic circumstances. Today, people pay attention. Tomorrow people pay attention, but the attention will be short lived. Having worked in a hospital treating the victims of all kinds of accidents, and all kinds of acts of mans inhumanity to man, I know only too well that the visitors are many in the first few days, there are still visitors for a few weeks, but gradually those who are inquisitive loose interest and move on with their lives. The one who has been injured or has lost a loved one has to face this reality from now on for the rest of their lives. 

Though I do agree that there are children who are removed from their parents and there are people who die of illnesses, we have many tragedies that take place, especially here in Israel. These tragedies are a sad and powerful illustration of how children or teenagers become orphans and why they might require assistance at various stages of their lives.

Do you stop and think about what happens to the surviving relatives of the various disasters the various Piguim that happen in Israel? Whether it's a bomb on a bus, a soldier lost in war, an attack on a car or on sleeping parents with most of their children, the surviving relatives are left with a great loss.

Who will be there for them to see them off to school on the first day after the Yomim Tovim? I do not mean just this week as the families are involved in sitting Shiva, but every Yom Tov from now on. Who will be there to celebrate their achievements, guide them as they travel the journey of life? Who will be there to prepare the various Smachot, whether it be a birthday, Bar / Bat Mitzvah or a wedding, birth of a child? Who will be there to be the grandparents to their children and to have pleasure from each milestone achieved as the next generation comes into being?

Most people do not internalize the enormity of this loss. Even if the grandparents and other relatives of these orphans have the finances that these children will not lack materially, there is still a loss that can not be replaced. Knowing first hand the heartache of the orphan, we at Chessed Ve'Emet are concerned about the orphan. Our centre is small at present but our goals are many. If you would like to learn more about the services that we offer or to receive our newsletter, please be in touch.

We offer our condolences to the families of those who have died Al Kiddush HaShem and hope and pray that we will merit a time where there will be no more orphans, no more heartache. 








Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Turning the Darkness to Light


The foods that we eat on Rosh HaShanah are symbolic of the year we will have ahead of us. One of these fruits typically eaten on Rosh HaShanah is the pomegranate. This year shopping for yummy looking pomegranates was quite a challenge. It has been quite a lesson to watch the decrease in quality of fruits and vegetables as the Shmita year draws to an end. There definitely is something special about the land of Israel and the fruits grown in Israel by Jews attest to it. 

As we looked at one tiny pomegranate after another, suddenly I noticed one that looked a little larger, a little redder and perfect in shape. Happy with my pomegranate, I took care of it for a few days eagerly awaiting the Jewish New Year to cut it open and make a blessing on the tasty fruit. 

To my dismay, when I cut it open the inside was black. My heart sank. Please, it can not be that a bad year is ahead. 

A friend on FaceBook kindly said this is the readiness for growth. 

Well, we went visiting a neighbour and managed to obtain pink and white pomegranate seeds and a few delicious dates thrown in for good measure. Rosh HaShanah was a special time despite the heat, but looking at the news makes my heart sink once more.

The only thing I can think of is to increase in acts of kindness and so I appeal to any caring Jew reading this post to please, visit our updated campaign, share it with your friends, make a donation and help us to turn the darkness to light and good and kindness and truth. We need a sweet year. Together we can change it for good.

If you are wondering how to access the campaign click on the highlighted words and it will take you to the page.  Or you can visit our website and see the progress.

Thank you for your kindness. May the year ahead be sweet and wonderful.

Shoshanah Shear


Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Everything Has a Purpose


I have just opened up a bag of items that came in to our Gemach in order to begin our section for renting out items for Schtick to use at weddings. The above image shows a basket of colourful fun to bring joy to Jewish brides at their wedding. We have:
 
- pink and white silk flower chains (lei)
- multi colour silk flower chains (lei)
- red and yellow silk flower chains (lei)
- flashing bracelets
- shakers with balls inside that glow or provide flashing light

The last item could be a problem for me to come into the room of our Gemach / store and see these flashing lights so I thought of what I can drape over the basket that wont cause a problem to anyone with sensory problems or for me when working in the room. Suddenly I remembered an item sitting with the arts and crafts things that I have been wondering for years how to use. 

Years ago when I was working at Groote Schuur Hospital in South Africa all of the occupational therapists in the department at the time sewed a special square to make up a quilt. I forget at the moment what we made this for, I think to raffle as a fundraiser, but that detail for the moment escapes me. One of the squares was made into a cushion cover and all the OT's who contributed to the quilt had the opportunity to win the cushion cover. I was blessed with winning it, except for one problem. The shape is a little different to the regular fillers for hand made cushions. I have not managed to find one suitable and so the beautiful cushion cover has been neatly folded waiting for the right time to be used. 

I am so happy to say I found the perfect use for it? 


As you can see in the above photograph, it covers the basket of items for Schtick perfectly and now the flashing shakers will only be seen when worked with or at a wedding. 

What a powerful lesson. All it takes is a little patience and creativity and it is possible to find a good purpose for everything.

Have a blessed day and be in touch if you would like to rent items for Schtick for a wedding. Prices still being worked on, proceeds helps us to bring Simchah (joy) to orphan brides.

Shanah Tova U'Metukah

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Preparing for our Sale


There is much that goes into setting up a sale. At Chessed Ve'Emet we are hard at work sorting, pricing and preparing items to go to our sale on Sunday. The above image shows a few more items that are about to be placed in a box to bring with us to Nachlaot.

As we check the items, it is amazing to consider the generous and caring Yidden who have been only too happy to pass on unwanted items for us to either give to orphan Chatanim and Kallot or to sell towards assisting them further. 

If there is anything in the above image that you would like, do take a look at our website for info or be in touch to come to our sale. Your purchase does the very big Mitzvah of assisting orphans at the time we marry. One of our goals is to complete the dry cleaning of 60 bridal gowns in preparation to loan to orphan brides. We have 32 dry cleaned and up on a stand and a further 28 still at the dry cleaner.

Be a part of making this special project even more successful. As we prepare for a sale, one of our Kallot is coming to Chuppah a little later TODAY! We wish her and all of our couples Mazal Tov and much blessing in their new homes.

Thank you to all those of you who support and appreciate our Bayit Chadash Gemach with it's new addition of the bridal gowns.

We are still in need of someone in Nachlaot / Sharei Chessed or Rehavia area to help by putting up a flyer or two. If you can assist, please be in touch.

Mark your calendar and come and join us on Sunday 6th September from 18h30 - 21h30

We look forward to seeing you there.

Have a blessed day

Shoshanah Shear

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Pre-Rosh HaShanah Sale


We are having a sale, come and join us!! 

Start your New Year with a Mitzvah and Tzeddakah at our 
                Pre Rosh HaShanah Sale

Date: Sunday 6 September 2015
Time: 18h30 - 21h30
Venue:
Nachlaot, Jerusalem

Your purchase will help us to:
       - assist orphan Chatanim and Kallot
       - develop our bridal gown Gemach
       - provide marital support and Kallah lessons and 
         more
                    ...... see www.lovingkindness.co

You can purchase from a selection of:
  - honey jars
 - table cloths
 - a few pieces of jewellery
 - second hand Sheitels
 - 100% natural lipstick and lipliner
 - art / photography

 - books and CD's and more

Do come and join us and bring your friends. We have lovely items, great prices and a very worthy Mitzvah. 

Contact Shoshanah Shear  for any questions

Looking forward to seeing you there

Shoshanah Shear

Chessed Ve'Emet




Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Bridal Gowns Free to Jewish Orphans

After much work, we have some progress. Take a look at our slideshow to find out about our exciting addition to our Bayit Chadash Gemach.


We have many plans for the development of our work empowering orphans at the time they marry. If you are looking for a Mitzvah to support this Elul, why not contribute to our Bayit Chadash Gemach and developing addition of our Bridal Gowns. Every couple assisting is building a Torah observant home in Eretz Yisrael and especially in and around Yerushalayim

Thank you to everyone who has already contributed. We have a long way to go to have our full centre but each step is so very special. Every item, service or development is greatly appreciated and very meaningful. Thank you!

Tax Receipts are available for those donating via check. Be in touch to find out more. 

Wishing everyone Shanah Tova U'Metuka, a year filled with abundant blessings.

Shoshanah Shear

Thursday, 20 August 2015

So Close and Yet So Very Far

A few days ago I was out working to help our new orphan Kallah when I got a phone call that 32 of our bridal dresses were at our front door and where was I. Well, since I was not notified in advance, I was out.

He agreed to take the dresses back and bring them the next day at a mutually agreed upon time and agreed to lend us a clothes stand to hang the dresses on until we obtained our own. 

Thanks to assistance from many caring Yidden, we managed to pay for the dry cleaning of the 32 dresses and prepared to be at the temporary location at 8 pm to receive them. Three quarters of an hour before I decided to confirm the time only to be told it would be 8.30 pm. OK, that's doable.

The dresses arrived but without a stand. At the last minute he decided not to loan us a stand and we were stuck. The dresses were received and laid out on beds, sofas, wherever was possible. In the meantime we set to work to find an alternative. 

Amongst our networking we heard that a store was closing and selling some store equipment. We tried to be in touch and were told, call back again in half an hour then another half an hour then another. Oh dear, more networking and nothing progressed.

The next day we set to work again to either obtain one or two sturdy clothes stands that we could borrow until we can afford to purchase our own or donations to be able to purchase new ones. By Hashgachah Pratit we were put in touch with the owner of the store that is closing and offered ONE stand. I raced over, took a look and was unsure what to respond. In the top image you can see the stand is rusted from having been outside. The height can no longer be adjusted due to rust and one wheel is broken as seen in the image below.

In addition was the problem of how to transport it as the rust meant it could not be easily taken apart. I set to work calling taxis, mini-movers, going into the hardware store and brainstorming. What solution was there and could this stand work even as a short-term measure.

The cost of transporting the stand was quoted as ₪100 - ₪250 plus costs involved to fix it up. OY, would it work? I was just about to give up when one of the taxis called me and wanted to know where the stand was to look and see if it could fit into his van. Amazingly he decided he could work a plan and next thing I knew he was downstairs to collect me and transport the stand (and me) to the temporary bridal gown venue. Yes there was a cost but less than the others had quoted.

I could hardly believe it. Timing somehow worked, after much time and effort we had a stand ..... or did we.
We began to place a few of the dresses on the stand only to discover it is too short and can not be adjusted due to the rust. Also there is risk that the rust will damage the dresses. 

Off I went again to gather more information. The cost to sand off and treat the stand, paint it with a paint that both treats and protects the metal from rust returning and from rust peeling off onto the bridal gowns plus cost of a new wheel and time of working on this added up, add to this the amount to transport the stand and it was no longer worth fixing up. 

If you are interested in our Bridal Gown Gemach, our current goal is to cover the ₪790 required to purchase two new sturdy clothes stands, including tax and transport. If anyone can assist, tax receipts are available for donations made via check.

Please be in touch if you can assist.

Thank you for caring

Shoshanah Shear
Chessed Ve'Emet

Friday, 14 August 2015

Bringing Simchah to an Orphan Kallah

I had some fun yesterday, meeting the Kallah to select a few items that she needed. We found a good Tallit (Nusach Sefardi), an attractive Tallit bag and a Neigel Vasser. The items are seen in the above photograph. Thank you to our kind donors for assisting with these important items. Now the Kallah can give the customary gift to her Chatan of a Tallit and Tallit bag.

The Kallah is still in need of two mattress covers to protect the mattresses, some head scarves, a Sheital and a few other smaller items.

The Kallah is coming to Chuppah, G-d willing on Chet Elul, so time is of the essence. If you have not seen our previous post, the Kallah was orphaned from her mother just 7 months ago due to a surgical error. The loss of their mother has had a very great effect on the Kallah and the rest of her family.

Please help us to bring Simchah to this Kallah. Tax receipts are available to those donating via check from Israel, US or Canada. Please be in touch for how to donate.

If you have new items to donate, please be in touch to to co-ordinate what you have to donate.

Thank you for your kindness

Shoshanah Shear

Monday, 10 August 2015

The first of our Elul Kallot


We have just interviewed a very sweet Kallah due to get married in just two weeks. Polite, respectful and appreciative of any assistance that is given to her. This Kallah is the third child of 8 children. She spent a bit of time doing a course to provide sport and music groups to preschool children and was enjoying starting to work. She is not yet earning even a minimum wage as her monthly salary, but had motivation and dedication to gain experience and progress in her work, until 7 months ago when her world was turned upside down. 

The family had happily enjoyed a Bar Mitzvah of one of her brothers when her mother began to experience abdominal pain. Doctors thought it was something minor but results of tests made them change their diagnosis and her mother was admitted for surgery to remove a growth. Sadly, due to a surgical error, the mother began to hemorrhage and did not survive the surgery. 

The parents had been working together to develop a printing service. The mother was involved in the graphic and print related work and the father was more involved in ordering supplies and serving customers. The loss of the mother has meant not only not having a loving mother to run the home but the loss of a main part of the business too.

As a result, our young Kallah is having to prepare her wedding alone and needs help to begin her own home. We have managed to assist with some items for the home but the Kallah still requires the following:

Set of mattress protectors for two single beds for the new couple (the type of beds that can separate or be pushed together as needed)
Mayim Acharonim preferably silver
Neigel Vasser
Scarves to cover her hair (she prefers black, cream or blue)
A Sheital, preferably custom
Pocket size Shmirat HaLashon in Hebrew 
A Tallit and cover for the Tallit for the Kallah to give as a gift to her Chatan
Someone to do the hair for her sisters. She has had an offer for her own hair and make-up but not for her sisters.

If anyone has new items to donate or are able to make a monetary donation towards starting the home of an orphan Kallah, please be in touch. Tax receipts available to those donating via check.

Please give generously to assist this very sweet Kallah

Thank you for your kindness

Shoshanah Shear

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Happy News to Share

I was going to write a blog post about our latest Kallah, but went off to do an errand and now have a wonderful interruption. Forgive me for the detour, but I think it is worth it. As you read the post below, I hope the above image will make sense. They say Olam Chessed Yibane. The world is built on acts of loving kindness.

Mazal Tov! Mazal Tov! 

Just met one of our Chatanim from a year ago when out doing errands. So special to hear they are preparing for the Pidyan HaBen of their first child.

The Chatan (new Abba) asked to say thank you to all those who donated items for their home. Every item given is being used and is appreciated.

The Kallah from this couple was orphaned from her father. They received a whole bundle of items for their new home from items needed for the Shabbos table to make-up to blankets and a new leather handbag for the Kallah and a Tallit for the Kallah to give to the Chatan. The Chatan mentioned that every item given is of value to them and used all the time. 


Thank you to everyone who has donated to our Bayit Chadash Gemach. This is what it is all about. By giving to an orphan Kallah with items that are needed and important to her, you free her of the stress that is created from a lack and help her to build her own home, start her own family and so a new world is created. 

Shoshanah Shear of Chessed Ve'Emet

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Misplaced Bridal Gowns

If you visit Beitar Illit and travel down a certain road, outside one of the dry cleaners you will see the above image. It is a sturdy clothes stand with a number of bridal dresses on it. These are some of the bridal dresses that are part of our Bridal Gown Gemach. We really do not want them to be a permanent Beitar feature, at least not outside a dry cleaner. We want them to be in our own premises and ready to show to Kallot. The image above shows about 15 of the gowns. There are more than this, the others are inside or in the Machsan (storeroom) of the dry cleaner.

If you have Maaser or Tzeddakah spare, please help us to complete paying the dry cleaner for the dry cleaning expense, to purchase the necessary store equipment and to move all of the bridal gowns to a suitable space that is large enough to display appropriately.

We are now affiliated with two organizations to provide tax receipts. Please be in touch for how to donate.

Together we can help to bring happiness to many Kallot. For Kallot who are orphans, they will have the opportunity to borrow a bridal dress at no charge and just enjoy wearing it on their special day.

Help us to bring happiness to brides who lack one or both parents to support and guide them.

Thank you for your kindness

Shoshanah Shear

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

A Few Statistics regarding Orphans.

Have you ever stopped to think how many orphans there are in the world? Have you ever stopped to think what happens in the life of an orphan?

The exact experience for every orphan is different as situations differ and every person is, of course, unique.

Here are a few stats:

UNICEF defines an orphan as someone who has lost one or both parents.

  • Total estimated number of orphans worldwide:  163 million
  • Estimated number that have lost only their mother: 34.5 million
  • Estimated number that have lost only their father: 101 million
  • Estimated number of “double orphans”:  18.5 million 
  • 95% of all orphans are over the age of 5 years. 
  • In 2005 132 million orphans were found in Sub-Sahran Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribean
    (Source: UNICEF) Did you know that the stats are so high? What is your first thought when you see these numbers, many of which go back to 2005 /2007                                                                                                                         

Publicity to our Campaign and More

We've been working hard on this crowd fundraiser. We have been mentioned on a few blogs. We were featured in the "In Jerusalem" of the Jerusalem Post on Friday 24 July 2015. We have even been mentioned by Mayim Bialik. Sadly, it does not seem to be enough to encourage Jews to open their hearts to the needs of an orphan at the time she gets married. What does it take to soften the hearts of those who like to give?

Today is the last day of our crowd fundraiser. Currently the 60 bridal gowns are sitting at the dry cleaner, most of them have been cleaned. We still need funds to pay the dry cleaner. We recently obtained a mirror through the donation of one individual! Once the dry cleaner bill is paid, we URGENTLY need funds for 3 sturdy clothes stands and to pay for additional rent for the extra space required to set this up.

We have received an offer from a bridal store in New York to send us a few bridal gowns. What a wonderful offer! Can you imagine a Kallah who does not have a father or a mother or both being given the opportunity to select a brand new bridal gown that is New York standard, as a gift for her wedding day?! Yes, it has to be returned already cleaned, but what a saving, what a kindness. What will it take for others to comprehend the Mitzvah that is taking place here. The kindness, the joy that YOU can give to another. 

We invite you to join us. This is the last day of our campaign and we need all the funds to come in. So I am appealing to Am Yisrael. Here is your chance to do an act that can make a very big difference to the life of another Jew. The life of someone who has already suffered from losing a parent. 

I have tried a few options to end this post but I am left wondering "What words do you need to hear that will inspire you to help an orphan?"

Everyone deserves a chance at life. Everyone deserves a chance at happiness. Please be a part of bringing happiness to the world. Remember, if you help one orphan, you have helped a whole world. 

Please donate TODAY and donate generously. Time is of the essence. We need to move beyond just raising funds to set this up and get to help the orphan Kallot that this Gemach is set up to assist. For those needing a tax receipt, we have an affiliation with two different organizations to provide tax receipts for those donating via Check. Please be in touch if this is what holds you back from assisting.

Thank you to all who care and to all who donate.

Shoshanah Shear
Co-Director of Chessed Ve'Emet

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Free Bridal Gowns to Orphan Kallot




Everyone loves to see a beautiful bride! It puts a smile on one's face or brings a tear to the eye! Most little girls dream of their wedding day and happily act out being a bride in their beautiful white bridal gown!

Imagine for a moment a bride-to-be having to arrange her wedding alone... Her beloved father, mother or both are no longer in this world. She may or may not have received any inheritance. Imagine approaching the most important day of anyone's life, without loving parents and sometimes other family too.

At Chessed Ve'Emet, we know the dreams of the little girl and just how important it is for every bride to have a beautiful wedding, even if it is a small one. At Chessed Ve'Emet we believe that everyone has the right to begin their new home in dignity.

As a result we have established an addition to our Bayit Chadash Wedding Project. We have 60 bridal gowns which will be loaned free of charge to orphan Kallot (Jewish brides) marrying and setting up their home in Israel. We have a dream of a very special centre that will help orphan brides and grooms (Kallot and Chatanim) in a meaningful and unique manner, taking all their needs into account. If we could fulfil our full dream, this will include empowering orphans to have a good strong income as they begin their new phase of married life.

We invite you to be a part of making something very special happen! Please visit our crowd fundraiser (http://igg.me/at/bridal-gown-gemach) where you can learn more about this awesome project, make a generous donation and share the link with your friends.  For more about the activities of Chessed Ve'Emet, see our main web page www.lovingkindness.co

Thank you for your kindness.

Shoshanah Shear

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