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Lakewood Rabbi Credits Misaskim Gebentshte Gelt in Narrow Escape from Danger
Date: December 21, 2020

The "gebentshte dollars" distributed by Misaskim's Project Yedid to almonos and yesomim have become an annual Chanukah tradition, the packet of ten one dollar bills bearing the brachos of some of the most revered rabbonim of today's generation a treasured keepsake. But one Lakewood rabbi is crediting a dollar lent to him by a young yasom for a modern day miracle after being saved from a high speed head on collision on the Garden State Parkway.

Speaking on Torah Anytime, Rabbi Binyomin Pruzansky shared the story of Rabbi Moshe Gellis, who was returning home from a wedding with a friend just before Chanukah. Heading south on the Garden State Parkway, Rabbi Gellis and his friend saw an accident just up ahead and were horrified to see one of the cars spinning out of control and barreling down the highway straight towards them. With traffic on the right and a head on collision just seconds away, the driver made a hard left onto the shoulder, narrowly avoiding what was sure to be a disastrous crash, somehow getting safely back onto the roadway.

Returning home to Lakewood, Rabbi Gellis said that he has no doubt that malachim carried the car to safety, noting that he had been carrying a dollar at the time of the near-accident bearing the bracha of Rav Elimelech Biderman for “shemira elyona,” one of three dollars from the 2019 Misaskim packet of gebentshte gelt that a young friend, a yasom, had given him to hold for a few days. Having stashed the bills bearing the brachos of Rav Chaim Kanievsky, Rav Yitzchak Yosef and Rav Elimelech Biderman in his car, Rabbi Gellis took the Rav Biderman dollar with him on his way out to the wedding, an action that he believes saved his life.

Misaskim has been distributing the gebentshte gelt every year for the past six years and last year’s packet also included dollars that had been bentshed by Rav Gershon Edelstein, Rav Gamiliel Rabinowitz, Rav Yechezkel Roth, the Skverer Rebbe, the Sanzer Rebbe, the Rachamstrivska Rebbe and the Toldos Aron Rebbe. Despite the difficulties of COVID, Misaskim made sure that the annual tradition would continue this year, making special arrangements for stacks of dollar bills to be brought to Rav Chaim Kanievsky, Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky, Rav Aharon Schechter, the Rachmstrivska Rebbe, Rav Gamliel Rabinowitz, Rav Moshe Wolfson, Rav Yitzchok Tuvia Weiss, Rav Yechezkel Roth and Rav Nachman Biderman for their brachos. Each of Misaskim’s yesomim receives their own packet of ten gebentshte dollars, with almonos receiving one as well as shmira for their house, and with so many new adults and children unfortunately joining the ranks over the past 12 months, Misaskim distributed packets to a record 2,256 children and 641 almonos, sharing with them the brachos of renowned rabbonim, most of whom are in their nineties.

“It has been a heartbreaking year and Chanukah, which is traditionally a family time, is yet another painful reminder that a loved one is gone,” said Misaskim founder and director Rabbi Yanky Meyer. “We can only hope that the presents and gelt that Project Yedid sent made Chanukah a little brighter for our families, with the knowledge that our greatest gedolim are sending their brachos the greatest gift of all.”

 

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