reports Rabbi Shmuel Goldberg, the administrator of the Ashdod Mercaz Chinuch Project, “with an ordinary conversation about a tragic accident that occurred a few years back. The conversation then moved on to other recent accidents, accidents that brought death and destruction, leaving families devastated and children orphaned.
Not only permitted, an obligation
“In middle of the conversation, an idea came up. “Why not have cheder children pray for the drivers whose every outing is fraught with danger? And if it catches on, we have a novel way of assisting the Yeshiva financially.
The yeshiva will present motorists with a proposal, encouraging them to purchase a Policy for Protection on the Roads. The agreement consists of the insured submitting a donation for the yeshiva, in return for the yeshiva students learning and praying on his behalf that he reach his destination successfully and safely.
In addition to activating the policy with an annual donation, the driver is obligated to drive cautiously and obey all traffic laws, as is commanded by “v’nishmartem meod lenofshoseichem” - Take careful heed of your life.
After establishing the terms of the policy, Rabbi Goldberg and his secretary went to Hagoan Rabbi Shlomo Silberstein Z"L, in Bnei Brak. He was very excited about the project and together they proceeded to the home of the Posek Hador, Hagoan Harav Shmuel Haleivi Wosner, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Chachmei Lublin and the Baal Shevet Haleivi.
The Gaon listened to their words in earnestness. “Wonder of wonders,” he commented after the idea was outlined to him. “Just recently, a halachic question concerning the burial of a tragic car accident victim came to me. Unfortunately, such incidents are frequent, and it is our obligation to do everything within our power to discontinue these dreadful occurrences.”
The Gaon was delighted. “There is no doubt that this is a blessed project. The pure and holy prayers of Jewish children have the ability to cease the casualties of vehicle mishaps! You inquired if it’s worth executing and if the yeshiva is authorized in asking for a donation in exchange for the prayers. My response is, ‘you are not only permitted to do it, you are obligated to do so! In your hands lies the ability and it is your responsibility to use your power to alleviate the suffering, the blood, and the tears...”
Pleased with the words they just heard, Rabbi Goldberg proceeded to the Yeshiva with fresh ambition to commence with the project; later also receiving the blessings of the Gerrer Rebbe, the P’nei Menachem, zt"l; the Gav"d Yerushalayim, Harav Yitzchok Yaakov Weiss, Harav Yosef Sholom Elyashiv, shlita, Maran Harav Ovadia Yosef, shlita and others.