July 18, 2007 | 3rd of Av, 5767
The highlight of the program are the retreats we sponsor three times a year for such families.
Last week, 135 orphans, along with their families enjoyed a fun-packed week at the Dan Pearl Hotel in Yerushalayim. The families left their horrific situations to enjoy a vacation in a beautiful atmosphere while being pampered to the fullest.
The retreat gave these families the opportunity to mingle and establish contact with other families who share their unfortunate plight, and to attend various workshops given by professional therapists. Most important, the families returned home emotionally recharged and ready to focus on improving their situation. In the past, this program has proven its extraordinary positive and practical results.
It is indeed very special to be your ambassador and to provide widows and orphans with their necessities. Our greatest privilege, however, is to be able to give these families something above and beyond as a luxurious summer vacation.
Our Sages tell us that when one provides for the widow and orphan, Almighty G-d says, “you are providing for my loved ones, those who I am responsible for. I, in turn will provide for your loved ones, those who you are responsible for" -- a fair trade!
Maimonides writes that one of the greatest Mitzvahs is that of helping the widow and the orphan; for through it one becomes the extended arm of the Almighty; for He is the Father of the orphan and the Advocate of the widow. I am sure you will agree that there is no greater honor and no greater gift than to be deemed the extended hand of Hashem in a most direct way