This past week, an exclusive event was held by the famed philanthropist and Torah supporter R’ Chuny Herzka at his home, in honor of the Rosh Yeshiva Hagaon Rav Shaul Alter shlit”a.
During the event, the Rosh Yeshiva told him: “Chazal say that every single talmid chacham who learns Torah, saves 40,000 Jews. I have heard the magnitude of your dedication on behalf of supporting Torah, you should know that you are the one funding the defense of the current war, it’s not the US Government, you have the defense contract, it’s you and your support of Torah. Just make sure the Israeli government doesn’t catch wind of it, they will come solicit your help too…”
R’ Chuny: “I try to keep a low profile, but I guess word gets out…”
The RY: “nevertheless, those who are involved in the world of Torah support know, I heard from many, R Sholom Ber Sorotzkin told me… Others as well…”
His father R’ Yisochor Herzka, told the Rosh Yeshiva that when Chuny was born, he sent a letter to the famed Gaon in Bnei Braq, Harav Moshe Mordechai Schulsinger ztz”l, who wrote him back a letter with a Bracha that Chuny should grow up to be a Godol Hador! R’ Yisochor added that Rashi in Pesachim 49b says that a person who is involved in philanthropy is called a Godol hador!
The Rosh Yeshiva responded “Yes, absolutely, the Bracha was mekuyam, he’s takka a Godol hador in Tzedaka! But he should strive for even more, he should become the רשכבה”ג!”
R’ Chuny told the Rosh Yeshiva that he is often approached on behalf of Yeshivos and Kollelim in Eretz Yisroel, and at the same time he is requested to enlist on behalf of helping soldiers in the Israeli army. R’ Chuni asked which should he better focus on?
The Rosh Yeshiva responded that there are boruch Hashem many who realize the importance of supporting efforts such as the welfare of the soldiers, medical aid, but only few philanthropists understand the importance of supporting Torah, and therefore he, being one of those who understand the importance, should best focus primarily on supporting Torah.
R’ Chuny added that even in the world of frum philanthropy, fundraising efforts such as dedicating buildings or medical aid are more popular items, but constant support of those toiling in Torah is unfortunately less intriguing to many.
The Rosh Yeshiva agreed, and added “When there is a niche area in business which is untapped, it’s because people don’t see the opportunity there, if you do, you get involved, and you can really do well!”
Later on during the visit, the Rosh Yeshiva presented R’ Chuni with a Tehillim and inscribed it personally, telling him “A tehillim is the great unifier, all yidden have the same tehillim. For davening, every sect of Klal Yisroel has their Nussach and mesorah, but we all share the same tehillim. Sefardim, ashkenazim, Chasidim, Yemenites, we all say the same tehillim.”
R’ Chuny asked the Rosh Yeshiva if there are any specific kapitlach in tehillim he should be saying due to the current situation in Eretz Yisroel, in response the Rosh Yeshiva shared something personal: he said that whenever there is a matzev of tzara in Klal Yisroel, he says the entire fourth Sefer in tehillim daily, to daven for a yeshuas haklal.