July 14, 2024
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The Zechus, and Reward, Of Saving a Jewish Life

The Torah attributes tremendous merit to the righteous Jewish midwives, Shifra and Puah (Yocheved and Miriam), who heroically defied the evil Pharaoh and disobeyed his decree to throw the Jewish newborn boys into the Nile. Moreover, the Torah continues, the midwives made sure the boys grew up to be strong by caring for them in secret. In this merit, it states, Hashem “made them houses,” which Rashi explains are “houses of kehuna, the Levitic family and the royal family.”

Thousands of years later, the EFRAT organization emulates the deeds of these women. Every day, EFRAT saves the lives of Jewish babies and continues to help care for them and ensure their welfare by sending substantial material support to their mothers. To date, EFRAT has saved over 83,000 lives!

Rebbetzin Yaffa Palti, a well-known lecturer from Miami, related an incredible story that happened to her, in the zechus of preventing the loss of a Jewish baby. On Shabbos Parshas Shemos, Rebbetzin Palti had been discussing with her husband, Rabbi Nisso Palti, the above dvar Torah and how it relates to EFRAT. “It got me thinking that the Torah can also be understood according to the pshat, the simple meaning, that Hashem rewarded the midwives with actual houses.”

Rebbetzin Palti relates that since moving to Florida, she had been having great difficulty selling her previous home in Mexico, and therefore couldn’t purchase a home in Miami, where she currently lives. After donating $1,500 to EFRAT, the amount needed to save one baby, she said that the issues miraculously resolved themselves. (Rebbetzin Palti has related the full story to her large audiences.)

For over four decades, EFRAT has been helping women from all streams of Israeli society who have fallen on hard times and fear the economic burden that a child will entail. In order to alleviate that burden, EFRAT provides moral support and counseling, as well as practical assistance in the form of a complete package to cover all of a baby’s needs: a crib, stroller, bathtub, infant seat, layette, and more. For two years, the woman receives monthly deliveries of diapers, wipes, infant formula and more; and often also receives staple food items for her and the rest of the family.

In fact, EFRAT is so efficient that the cost of saving a life, including the entire package, costs a mere $1,500. Each donor who saves a life is given the name and date of birth of the child they were instrumental in saving.

EFRAT’s office is flooded with letters of appreciation from families who are eternally grateful to the organization. “I can’t imagine what life would be like without my baby!” is a theme almost universally repeated. The public is invited to visit EFRAT’s offices in Yerushalayim and see for themselves the walls that are covered, from top to bottom, with photos of adorable, smiling babies whose families are eternally grateful.

For more information contact us at [email protected] and visit www.cribefrat.org

By Hadassah Bay

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