THE PRIVILEGE TO DO MITZVAHS
“To God we have to say thank you! We say thank you to God for what He can do. To our fellow human beings, we don’t say thank you. We say, ‘May you be privileged to do more mitzvahs, to continue doing God’s work.’ But to God, we have to say thank you.”
I celebrate the life, the work, and the memory of the Rabbanit Bracha Kapach of Jerusalem, who passed away at the age of 90. I was privileged to meet the Rabbanit in her home, the place from which she conducted a massive tzedakah [act of righteousness] operation for over 40 years. Bracha Kapach and her husband, the late Rabbi Josef Kapach, emigrated from Yemen to the pre- Israeli state of Palestine in 1941. He was already a rabbi at age 16 and she was 11 when they married in Yemen. They emigrated and soon became important leaders of the community of Yemenite Jews in Israel. They are the only couple in history to both win the highest civilian honor in Israel, The Israel Prize. Rabbi Josef Kapach won it for his scholarship, and Rabbanit Bracha Kapach won it for her works of charity and righteousness.
Her house was known to be a place where thousands were given meals for Shabbat and on holidays, especially Passover. She helped at least hundreds have a proper bar or bat mitzvah or wedding. And she felt it was her responsibility— all of our responsibility—to help the poor. She believed the help came from God through us; that God heard and saw her tears and delivered what she needed to serve those in need.
May God, indeed, bless the memory of the Rabbanit Bracha Kapach and keep her spirit of serving others alive in me and all of us.