The 1st Things I Did After My Husband was Put on Unpaid Leave

The 1st Things I Did After My Husband was Put on Unpaid Leave

My husband has been receiving a salary from the same institution for 21 years. Until the outbreak of the coronavirus, when he joined tens of millions of other people on involuntary unpaid leave.
Over the course of those 21 years, his salary was deposited every single month, without fail. And all of a sudden, it wasn’t. In addition, our family business hosting tourists (ChefRabbiJosh.com) had evaporated as quickly as you can say the words “travel ban.”
The 1st thing I did after my husband was put on unpaid leave was not get it for a week or two. Until one day I looked at our bank account and realized that unpaid leave means that, like, we have no income coming in whatsoever.
The 2nd thing I did was get stressed out. Snapping at my 17-year-old daughter who wanted to start driving lessons that we had no money to pay for them (as we had done for her 2 older sisters). And asking her 14-year-old sister who requested cash to buy some socks if she really, really needed them.
The 3rd thing I did, and something that I’m hoping to continue doing even now that my husband’s unpaid leave has recently (B”H!) ended, is donate to the Daily Giving project. This means that every day I and almost 2500 others donate $1 to a non-profit organization serving the neediest members of the Jewish community.
I heard about this initiative after Rabbi Fischel Schachter recommended it during a class, and since I joined up I’m so happy I did.
Today, for example, my $1 donation helped donate $2423 to Yad Ezra v’Shulamit, which provides thousands of food baskets to Israel’s neediest families. On other days my $1 has helped make donations to organizations such as the Rofeh Cholim Cancer Society, Chai Lifeline, and United Hatzalah.
When my husband was put on unpaid leave in addition to being in lockdown, I felt like I couldn’t do chesed [acts of kindness] anymore. I couldn’t give charity like I usually do. I couldn’t host Shabbat guests like I usually do. I couldn’t even visit people in need of a visitor and a word of encouragement anymore
And it felt and feels so good to know that every day, with my $1, that I’m stretching a little beyond myself and my family, to bring light to Jewish community at this dark hour for so many.
Learn more at https://dailygiving.org/

9 comments

  1. one of the things i noticed about our lack of income during lockdown was that i also put aside all those envelopes for tzedaka that arrive around Pesach time. I told myself that we didn’t have money for food and rent, so tzedaka would have to wait. then one day i decided i just HAD to fill an envelope–maybe i was afraid of an ayin harah…i don’t know.
    anyway, i wrote a check and sent the envelope away. later that day, my husband got paid money that was owed him from a year ago. the next day, i wrote checks for all the envelopes we had accumulated. and we received more money that was owed to us….in the end, we had enough money for all our Pesach needs, Baruch Hashem!
    and since then, even tho we haven’t been working, I have become acutely aware that Hashem is watching us, carrying us, and providing for us. I just have to take the first step…

  2. Tamar, I love your story!

  3. Thanks Jenny! 🙂 Another way to do chesed while also taking care of your family’s needs is to join Keren Yachad: Keren Yachad is like a gemach insurance company that takes care of the children’s financial future if God forbid something happens to one of the parents. This is the link:
    http://en.kyachad.co.il/

  4. Tamar, I have chills up my spine from what you wrote.
    Would you consider letting us publish it in the N’shei Chabad Newsletter?
    If you would, please contact me at rishe@nsheichabadnewsletter.com.
    Thank you.

  5. Hadassah Aber

    Another chesses idea is to take time to call those people who are shut in due to the virus just to let them know that you are thinking of them, especially those whom you might not have been in touch with recently..I love your column and glad to hear that your husband is getting paid again.

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