Dec 20, 2016


The eeriness continues.
I went to be menachem avel by the children of R' Pinchus Gross.  No sooner did I tell them what I wrote in my previous post, how I had been reading about their father in the book about Yossi Wallis and Arachim, and a few hours later, heard about his passing, then ... Yossi Wallis walked into the room, to be menachem avel! There was the subject of the book I had been reading over the past two weeks, in real life!
Here are some interesting points that I heard at the shiva house that relate to us all:
Wallis said that R' Pinchus always wanted to hear details about the people who attended the Arachim seminars.  To him, it wasn't about numbers, but about the individuals.  Some organizations have to prove themselves with numbers.  Their donors want to know how many people attended their events.  They want to know that their monetary support is worthwhile.  R' Pinchus wanted to know how people were affected by the seminars - who committed to shemiras Shabbos, kashrus etc. Wallis said this attitude has affected his staff.
From the book I gathered that R' Pinchus and Chaim Gross were wealthy people.  After all, they donated a million dollars a year to Arachim! I was surprised to hear that R' Pinchus went around to bungalow colonies, yeshivas and shul and made appeals for Arachim.  Someone said that in the Shomrei Shabbos shul, he made an appeal in minyan after minyan in this "minyan factory," and it was a different speech each time!
So in addition to their own money that they gave to Arachim, R' Pinchus fundraised for this cause that he believed in.  This was not a new interest to him since back in Europe he had started Beis Yaakov schools and worked to convince people to send their daughters there.
One last incident - R' Pinchus was in the mountains, staying with his daughter.  She noticed that his bekeshe in the closet needed to be cleaned so she brought it to the cleaners.  The next day, he asked where his bekeshe was and she told him - the cleaners.  Oy, he had put money that he had collected for Arachim into a pocket of the bekeshe.  The money was not retrieved and although he had no halachic obligation to replace it, he calculated the amount, about $900 and replaced it.

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