illustrationצילום: Shutterstock

Chava Peretz’s apartment is eerily quiet these days. Just her and her three-year-old. The neighbors think Chava’s husband is “away.” How could she tell them the truth - that he is in prison?

Most people who travel a lot know, she has learned, not to transport a bag you didn’t pack. But her husband Natan claims he didn’t know. He’s not a worldly man, he’s just a happy-go-lucky yeshiva student and young father who spent his whole life in the religious world. He says he thought he was doing his friend a favor. He didn’t know it would ruin his life.

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The police seized Natan at the Moldovan border - the bag he was carrying for his friend was full of illegal substances. He would have never dreamed that a fellow religious Jew would do such a thing. Would lie to him. Would throw his life away. But it happened.

And now he has spent five months wasting away in jail. It’s not because they think he’s guilty, in fact they know he’s innocent. The only thing keeping him there is money. The courts say the Peretz family has to pay $120,000 so that he can come home. They’re just a regular kollel couple, and could never afford such a sum.

And so, Natan remains in his prison cell, suffering from malnutrition. He’s the same Natan, and he will only eat kosher food, which is hard to come by. And Chava is there, alone, with her daughter, who is growing bigger each day. She never thought she would be raising her alone.

Neighbors want to know when Chava’s husband is coming home. And in her heart, she is afraid the answer could be ‘never.’

Please, help Chava raise enough money to bring Natan home. It is a true case of “pidyon shvuyim,” releasing a Jewish captive. Bring him back to his little girl, who doesn’t understand why Daddy is gone. Bring him back to sitting in yeshiva, instead of a dirty prison cell. Only you can save his life.