Monday, December 19, 2005

Maran, shlit"a, and management

Before shabbos I received a fund raising brochure from Kupat Ha'ir. If you've gotten them yourself then you are familiar with the tack this particular charity takes: lots of stories of personal salvation achieved by donors (healthy babies, shidduchim etc) and lots of pictures of Israeli Gedolim davening for names submitted by donors. You can even check off a list of things that Gedolim should pray for that you will send with your donation.

The brochure tells of several 'historic' visits that the Gedolim made to the Kupat Ha'ir office in Benei Brak. The visits were described as a sort of due diligence on their part, to make sure the charitable institution they are supporting is fully on the up-and-up. The following is from the description of R. Aryeh Leib Steinman's visit:
Harav Steinman, shlit"a, stands at the helm of numerous instiutions in Eretz Yisrael and abroad, so management is nothing new to him. The rabbanim and gabbaim therefore waited anxiously to hear what was the question that was bothering the gadol hador. Like the other distinguished guests before him, Harav Steinman first entered the main room of the office. He was amazed at the site of many stations waiting to be manned.

Why are so many stations necessary?" he asked. The telephones at the stations of the steady operators were ringing non-stop...."But how is it that a person contributes over the phone? How does the money come in?" he asked. The gabbai briefly explained how a credit card works.

"But the contributor doesn't even sign anything... he's contributing over the phone!" Harav Steinman asked again. "But what if he changes his mind?" he went on....It was astounding to see to what extent maran, shlit"a, who is immersed in Torah study day and night, is cut off from the financial nature of our daily lives in the modern world. At the same time, it was fascinating to see how quickly he caught on when the matter was outlined in the briefest detail.

1 comment:

  1. Reminds me of President Bush and the supermarket scanner.



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