Misaskim Organization - Free Services for Families in Shivah

Jewish Press/Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum
Date: May 09, 2007

When a close family member sadly is niftar, families are thrown into Shivah (mourning). Usually, that means the mourners sit on cardboard boxes and scrounge for siddurim for those who come to daven with the shivah minyanim. Seforim dealing with halachos and practices of shivah have to be located. Calls have to be made to borrow a Sefer Torah and arrangements must be made for the Torah to be brought and returned. Of course, these are rather distracting matters when grieving for a family member, but nevertheless, they must be attended to.

Misaskim, based at 5805 - 16th Avenue in Boro Park, has shouldered the many difficult tasks that would ordinarily be dealt with by the grieving family. Misaskim has specially outfitted vans that carry sturdy chairs that are cut low, so that mourners can sit with some ease while simultaneously sitting low, the traditional sign of mourning. The vans have ample siddurim, both Nusach Ashkenaz and Nusach Sefard.

Along with Mishnayos, traditionally learned during the shivah, Misaskim supplies seforim that deal with the laws of shivah, in Hebrew, as well as English. Mourning candles are also distributed. The vans also carry Sifrei Torah in smaller Aronos - Arks, all ready at a moment's notice. Mourners, or their neighbors, can call 718-854-4548 and a van with shivah supplies will arrive and volunteers will bring everything into the house. When the shivah is over, a Misaskim van will come and pick up all items. Never will Misaskim drivers or representatives ask for money, not even as security. Who else is like your nation, O Israel!! Misaskim has now undertaken to write an additional seven new Sifrei Torah to be used in their ministrations to mourning families. On Sunday, June 17, a grand Hachnassas Sifrei Torah will be celebrated as the new Sifrei Torah are inaugurated into Misaskim's incomparably worthy service. The organization invites the public to share in their great mitzvah. Sponsorships are available from one letter to special parshahs as well as Atzei Chaim (Torah Handles) or Torah Arks from $36 to $7,200. Misaskim performs an especially beautiful mitzvah, immeasurable appreciated by those who sadly need its services.


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