Itzik’s moving story just came to us via his request for help with his upcoming wedding. It’s the kind of story that, once again, makes us grateful that our Adopt a Wedding program exists.
My name is Itzik.
I am 32 years old and live in Yerushalayim. I’m the only child of Shmuel and Adina and for the first four years of my life, the three of us lived together as a family in Kfar Shmuel. But when I was five years old, my parents divorced and after a year of living with my mother, who was struggling with mental illness, I was sent by social services to a boarding school. By the time I turned 8, my mother’s condition had worsened and she was placed into a psychiatric hospital.
Where was my father? At one point he remarried and I remember being excited about it. I thought, “Now I’ll have a home-a real home. No more living in a school for me.” But for some reason (I’m still not sure why) it didn’t happen. I wasn’t invited to join my father and his wife and I found myself, once again, without a real home, without a real family. My father had no interest in me, and for many years he never even saw me. My mother passed away five years ago and practically speaking I really had no parents for most of my life. I was always alone. Completely alone.
After everything I went through, I was zoche to become a baal tshuva and with the help of friends I began learning in yeshiva and I found my place in a wonderful school in Yerushalayim. The yeshiva became my home, even on Shabbat and holidays. Without the rabbanim and the talmidim I would have continued to be alone.
WIth chasdei Hashem I got engaged to a wonderful woman two months ago and our wedding is planned for just a few weeks from now. I am excited and happy that this time has come, yet I’m worried. I have nothing with which to make a wedding, no way to even begin.
I look forward to building a new life, a new real family, something I’ve never had. My dream is to continue learning, to become a Talmid Chacham and create a home filled with Torah. But to start on that path I have to ask for your help.
I hope you, members of Am Yisrael, will, in some way, be able to take the place of my parents, to be there for me as a family would, and help me with wedding expenses so I can begin to build my bayit ne’eman b’Yisrael.
We can, Itzik. We can.