An open letter to the community.
A moment of truth has descended on the Jewish community in which we stand to define to the world, to our children, and to our selves whether we are a people of real action or just empty words.
Whether we are able to put into practice the lofty things we learn and talk about or we simply know how to “talk the talk” but not very good at “walking the walk”
A prestigious Jewish family, known throughout the world for tremendous acts of kindness, care, and love for fellow Jews, in ways that are unparalleled, has fallen on hard times and now faces the loss of their entire company and enterprise to the banks that are foreclosing on them.
Will we – as a community - stand by idly and watch the destruction or will we stand up and do something about it.
As a relative of the Rubashkin family I have come to see first-hand their ways of Tzedakah and it is extraordinary and mind-boggling.
A Rubashkin home is one where giving up your bed to a stranger and underprivileged person is a way of life and almost a daily occurrence, not just an occasional act for a friend who visits for Shabbos.
The Rubashkin restaurant in Brooklyn is a place where more meals are given free to poor people than to paying customers. The family actually refers to the restaurant as “Mom’s Tzedakah Box”
The Rubashkin way of spending a financial windfall is by helping a complete stranger that is about to lose their home to foreclosure, by paying off the bank so the family can keep their home.
The Rubashkin idea of a care package for a struggling family that has just given birth includes not just food but clothing, strollers, cribs, and more.
A Rubashkin Yom Tov Chesed package includes food, and new outfits and shoes for the entire family.
And the Rubashkin idea of a summer vacation at the family property in the Catskills includes rounding up families of orphans and widows and inviting them to live with them in their homes for free for an entire summer including full room and board.
And all this is done discreetly and without PR, dinners, and Chinese auctions, and funded out of their own pocket.
An entire bookcase would be filled If all the stories of people that were helped by the Rubashkins were compiled into books.
The Jewish community is blessed with many very charitable people but few are willing to commit not just money but everything they have including their time, home, vacation, and more to help another.
And now this great family is about to lose it all unless some very good people are able to come forward and save their company so that the Rubashkins can continue saving other Jews.
To be sure this is not an easy task as millions of dollars are needed and time is very short. But the way the Jewish world responds to this moment of truth will help identify who we really are.
Sadly there are many in the frum world that have used this story to show the dark side of our community. There are frum people that run websites (some sadly even run by fellow Chasidim) that spew hatred and Loshon Hora about the Rubashkins, and there are Kosher and frum run companies dancing at the Rubashkin sorrows and praying for their demise. There are even some frum vultures lining up and egging on the banks to foreclose on the Rubashkins so they can steal the company from them.
The world is watching us now and we have an opportunity to make a unique and tremendous Kiddush Hashem.
If ever there was a need for true leadership in the frum community this is the time.
Will the true askanim and leaders rise to the occasion?