Last night was Zichron Mattel’s annual event in BMG to raise money for chassanim whose families are struggling financially. The event featured speeches by Rabbi Menashe Frankel and Rav Lipa Geldwerth of Yeshivas Torah Temimah Brooklyn.
Rabbi Frankel preached the essentialness of chesed to round out the attributes of a young man entering marriage. He elevated the importance of pledging ma’aser money from chasunah gift proceeds to enhance this same simchah for others, saying, “you're saving them agmas nefesh, you're saving them the embarrassment of trying to figure out how they're going to be able to prepare themselves for their chasunah."
Rav Geldwerth spoke of the vice of self-absorption and cited the Greek myth of Narcissus, the eponym of the word narcissism. He shared an aphorism from Rav Shimon Shkop, “You start out in life as I”m just me, then getting married means you take another person into your life, she becomes a part of me, when one has children, they become my larger expanded I, one's kehilla is part of them, and a Gadol feels all of Klal Yisrael is a part of them."
Zichron Mattel (after R’ Shloime Lewenstein’s mother) was born after it dawned on Lakewood’s three famed shadchanim, Shloime Lewenstein, Meir Levi and Tzadok Katz, that the many chassanim who often reached out to them in desperation over a lack of funds did not have the sort of tzedakah organizations catering to their needs as exist for kallos. Over the years, it has developed into an indispensable resource for chassanim from BMG and beyond, distributing over $1.2 million annually to 300+ chassanim.
The annual event at BMG is a major source of the organization’s funding. It all started a few years back in the dining room of Rav Pinchos Gershon (P.G.) Waxman z"l, where a few bochurim pledged some of their ma’aser money to the cause. The idea has caught on like wildfire, and now the donations are pouring in from bochurim and yungerleit who are eager to participate.
The credo of Zichron Mattel is that the shopping experience for these chassanim should be no different than for anyone else. At times, they will even orchestrate that only the chosson’s parents should be aware of their involvement.
A typical package for an individual amounts to about $6,000 worth in value at a cost of about $4,000 to the organization. The chosson is provided with a chosson suit, a whole new wardrobe and a Borsalino hat, along with a leichter, machzorim, a Tehillim and a siddur for his kallah.
To join in the mission with these shadchanim and contribute you can go to www.zichronmattel.org