Assisting an Orphan Kallah

Quote about kindness

One of the projects we manage as part of the Torah Centre we are working on, is a very special Hachnasat Kallah aimed at strengthening needy orphan Chatanim and Kallot at the time of getting married. We have many ideas we are gradually working on. Along the way, many give negative feedback about helping orphans, but what does the Torah teach on this topic?

Let us begin by looking at the Shulchan Aruch. For our purposes we are going to look at the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch and we find in Chapter 29 section 19 some information regarding how to interact with an orphan. The Torah law states that one has to take great care with regards to both widows and orphans, to speak to them gently, to treat them with honour and not to cause them any pain. Even with ones words, one has to be careful as the orphan and the widow soul is downcast and their spirits are low.

This applies even if they are wealthy. We are even warned if those concerned are widow and orphan of a king, still we must treat them with special care and gentleness. The Torah warns not to cause pain to an orphan as if an orphan cries out to Hashem, Hashem will hear their call. (Exodus 22:21-2)

This applies whether one is orphaned from his father or his mother, it does not have to be both parents.

Do you know what kind of assistance one has to give an orphan and until what age is the community responsible to help someone who has lost a parent? Do you know what the Torah teaches on the Mitzvah of Hachnast Kallah and in particular helping an orphan to marry and set up their own home? Are you interested in knowing or in learning this information?

Please do follow these posts and teachings and join us in developing our special service. You can visit our website for more information or email us to get involved and / or to learn this information more in-depth. You are welcome to sign up to study this material with Rabbi Shear too.

This post is prepared for you by: Shoshanah Shear, Occupational therapist, healing facilitator, certified infant massage instructor, freelance writer and co-author of “Tuvia Finds His Freedom” and author of “Healing Your Life Through Activity – An Occupational Therapist’s Story


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Helping a Kallah to Find her Bridal Gown

Kallah (bridal) dress

We had such fun today! I had a Kallah call me yesterday to find out about our bridal gowns. She was going to come in another 10 days and then called back to ask if she could come this morning. The first treat came when we opened the door to find both mom and gran had come to help the Kallah to find the perfect bridal gown for her. After half an hour or so of looking through our bridal gowns and trying on a few, the mom of the Kallah asked if I knew anything about alterations.

I began to realise just how much I had learned in our course at university on adapting garments and patterns in order to disguise any deformity. This time there was nothing to disguise but there was a need to adapt the sleeves. Having described what I thought would be possible, I then discovered that my photography skills came in beneficial. I directed the mom of what to photograph in order to ask her seamstress if she could do what I had described.

Now wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had the alterations happening on site?

Once the 3 photographs were taken and sent off to the seamstress, we had a 10 – 15 minute wait. There is always much to chat about with a new Kallah, so the time slipped away pretty quickly. Pretty soon we had the response, yes, the seamstress could do the alterations. Now came the discussion. Will this be THE bridal gown? Should we take it, should we keep looking? On my side will this be the bridal gown that is rented or purchased.

A little more discussion and yes! Mazal Tov! The Kallah decided that yes, this was her dream bridal gown. I am so looking forward to seeing the final result once the bridal gown has been altered.

What was particularly exciting for me, was to hear from the Kallah, her mother and her grandmother a consensus that they agree the centre we are working towards is needed. If you know a Kallah getting married in Jerusalem, please have her be in touch to come and visit our Bridal Gown Gemach. If you believe in assisting brides and especially those who do not have the family support, please visit our crowd fundraiser and help us to reach our goal of developing a very special centre.

This post is prepared for you by: Shoshanah Shear, Occupational therapist, healing facilitator, certified infant massage instructor, freelance writer and co-author of “Tuvia Finds His Freedom” and author of “Healing Your Life Through Activity – An Occupational Therapist’s Story


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Honouring a Special Lady – Irena Sendler

Photographed by Mariusz Kubik

When receiving forwarded emails, sadly one often has to either ignore them or verify their facts. Recently, I received an email, notifying me of Irene Sendler who had died on 12 May 2008 at the age of 98 years. The brief information about her was very touching.

Aware that some stories about the Holocaust are sadly not true or are variations of the truth, I decided to do a search. Wikipedia has some very moving information about a woman who took her profession seriously.

Trained as a social worker, this woman was dedicated to her work in helping others. Since a picture is worth a 1000 words, take a look for yourself at one of these YouTube clips about this inspiring lady, Irena Sendler.

To what lengths would you be prepared to go to assist someone in need? Would you help another to the same extent as Irena was able to?


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Gathering Strength from Nature

There are times that life gets tough, boring, challenging, hard in every respect. What can we do to keep our spirits up and maintain that confidence that everything is good and for the good?

That is when I love to turn to nature. For nature provides us with a reminder that the One who Created it is filled with compassion. It must be. One can one create such beauty when you are feeling any kind of negative emotion. Just when things seem the most challenging, nature provides us with beautiful pictures.

There are those who care

There is always someone there.

Even when we can’t quite see it, sometimes we just need to turn a little, or around.

But nature certainly shows us that love is to be found.

From the love of dolphins

To those so different to us

To the beautiful swans who show us

That we don’t need to fuss.

The One who Created all of this, is always to be found

Even when He sits so high, far from our ground.

So let these pictures comfort you

For honestly it is true.

Life is filled with beauty and kindness

It is for us to embrace the Oneness

For within nature is the greatest love

Smiling down on you from the One above.

We hope these images bring you much peace, joy and love!

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