Our crowning activity at RavLehoshia is the monthly distribution of Materna baby formula for families with babies in need. Our goal is to ensure that no Jewish infant goes hungry, no Jewish mother is left anguished by her inability to provide.
It is the natural continuation of the activities of our revered and saintly ancestor, the famed Rabbi Yeshaya Steiner, better known as Reb Shaya’le of Kerestir, Hungary. While other rebbes are renowned for their personal piety, scholarly achievements or devotion to prayer, Reb Shaya’le is best remembered for his devotion to the physical needs of his fellow Jews, especially the poor and downtrodden.
Reb Shaya’le used to sit at the window of his modest home on Motzaei Shabbos and wait. The crowds were already gathered for the lavish Melava Malka he provided each week, eagerly awaiting the Tzadik’s arrival for the festive meal to begin. But the Tzadik just sat by his window and waited. He waited until… there they are!
It was a ragged group of boys, barely of bar mitzvah age, poor and desperately hungry. These were yeshiva boys who travelled far from home to study Torah and suffered degradation and extreme poverty to be able to sit in the beismedrash and study from Hungary’s leading Torah masters. Durign the week they barely ate at all, as the yeshivos were too poor to provide for their students. But on Motzaei Shabbos these boys knew they would always find a warm home, a warm meal and a warm heart at the home of the Tzadik, Reb Shaya’le.
Reb Shaya’le greeted each of these famished boys like a father and only once they were seated in front of a steaming plate of delicious food would the Tzadik himself wash netilasyedayim to begin the meal.
Like a father to all—that is the legacy of the Tzadik. It is the legacy that RavLehoshia perpetuates, ensuring that every infant in need has somewhere to turn, that every family experiencing financial difficulties can provide for its children.
Our central baby formula distribution takes place in Yerushalayim, with a secondary distribution center operating in Beit Shemesh. From there our baby formula reaches numerous other cities in Eretz Yisrael, including Beitar, BneiBrak, Elad, Tzefas, teveriah and more.
The legacy of the Tzadik, Reb Shaya’le.