Ever since I was a little boy, I’ve been fascinated by stories of the Gedolei Yisrael. From Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach ztz”l to Rav Elyashiv zt”l, I loved to hear about each Gadol’s extraordinary kindness and wisdom.
One Rabbi in particular that I was drawn to was Rav Yeshaya of Kerestir. “Reb Shayaleh,” as he was known, was visited by thousands, many of whom claimed he worked miracles. Reb Shayaleh kept the practice of giving a “kamia,” a handwritten piece of paper, to those who needed to be protected. Our tradition passes down that those who received this kamia saw results that were “beyond nature.”
Even more fascinating is that last week, who should revive this tradition and specifically the kamia of Rav Shayala of Kerestir but Rav Chaim Kanievsky himself? Just one week before his passing, “Sar HaTorah” genius Torah scholar and Gadol HaDor Rav Chaim zt”l reissued a limited edition of Reb Shayale’s kamiah, written by Rav Kanievsky himself. The cause? Charity. All those who donate to help families through Vaad HaRabbanim’s fund receive the kamiah. The fund mentioned just three days before the Rav’s passing that this was the first time in 100 years that this kamia had been used.
I knew I needed to get it.
Right now, readers from around the world are quickly buying up the limited supply of Rav Kanievsky kamiahs. As someone who has always had a great adoration for the Gedolei Yisrael, this is especially exciting for me because it marks the last Vaad HaRabbanim campaign that Rav Chaim took part in, after 20 years of publicly adding his brachos and face to the campaigns. It’s a reminder to me that I joined together with the Gadol HaDor to help families in need. And after the tragedy of Rav Chaim’s passing, it gives me hope for the future of klal yisroel - a future where Jews help other Jews in need.