How a Special-Needs Youth became an IDF Soldier, Husband and Father

"LORD, Thou hast heard the desire of the humble: Thou wilt direct their heart, Thou wilt cause Thine ear to attend; To right the fatherless and the oppressed, that man who is of the earth may be terrible no more." (Psalm 10:17-18)

When the phone rings or a text message is delivered to Karmey Chesed, an Israel-based, full service charity organization, staff jumps into gear to do whatever they can to help. With its innovative programs aimed at assisting as many needy people as possible, Karmey Chesed's good name is spreading throughout Israel.

Aryeh Weingarten, Director of Karmey Chesed, humbly shared some of the heart-wrenching stories which arrive at this organization's door. "Several times a day, Karmey Chesed is contacted with pleas to help destitute families and lone soldiers," he shared with Breaking Israel News.

Karmey Chesed is skilled at aiding as many people as they can on a shoestring budget. "The needs are endless and the requests are constant," noted Weingarten. "Every shekel that comes in becomes holy to us and to the people who are helped through donations made to Karmey Chesed. Whatever we get is used to the best of our abilities in the most efficient way."

Many Karmey Chesed recipients have had their lives rebuilt through the organization's caring help. This concept is based on the 12th century philosopher Maimonides, who wrote about eight hierarchies for giving charity.

According to Maimonides, the most meritorious way to give charity is to help in a way which prevents poverty from setting in. This is done by giving the person in need a monetary gift or loan, teaching the person a trade, or helping him open a business so that he may earn an honest livelihood and not be forced to ask for charity.

Karmey Chesed does all it can to give charity based on this Biblical precept. Weingarten shared a story about one of the organization's long-term clients who came from a severely dysfunctional home and today is married, working and has a child.

"This young man is one of eleven children," explained Weingarten. "His family is very poor. His father has severe mental illness and his mother is emotionally sick, abusing all of her children both physically and psychologically. Most of the children have emotional problems from all of this."

Karmey Chesed did what it could to help the family. However, one child in particular was thought to have a greater chance for succeeding at living a normal and productive life.

"We invested a lot of energy and resources into this boy, along with endless prayers for his well-being," Weingarten told Breaking Israel News.

That hard work and investment paid off. Karmey Chesed helped to get the boy into a special Israel Defense Force (IDF) army unit for soldiers with special needs. The boy flourished there. However, as the army stipend is extremely minimal and he had no help from his family, Karmey Chesed supported him throughout his service.

After the army, the boy got engaged to a girl with minor emotional problems. With no one to make the couple a wedding, Karmey Chesed once again came through.

The organization not only ensured that the couple had a respectable wedding - they also outfitted their apartment with appliances, furniture and gave them money in order to start a normal life.

Today, this IDF veteran is a working husband and father. Without the generous and caring help of Karmey Chesed, the chance that this man would have been a productive Israeli citizen and family man were slim. Karmey Chesed's all-inclusive programs for helping with a heart made the difference.

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