Section: Stories   Category: Story Corner
A Contract Until 120

Reb Chaim Gelb was a unique individual - a tzaddik and gaon in chessed who spent his entire life strengthening Yiddishkeit and performing chessed for others. He was a resident of Williamsburg, Brooklyn at a time when most Jews there were not frum, and he worked tirelessly to strengthen Shemiras Shabbos and all aspects of Jewish observance. At a young age, he quit his job so he could devote all his time to performing acts of chessed and tzedaka. His wife, who was a full partner in Rav Chaim's lifetime of chessed, willingly supported the family.

In the mid-twentieth century, modern American values were already slowly seeping in the frum community. Rav Chaim was not pleased with the increase in broken marriages, and was concerned with its negative affects on the future of Klal Yisrael.

As a man of action, he was not one to remain silent. At every wedding that he attended, Rav Chaim would stand on a chair after the chuppah was over, and announce in a loud voice, "A contract for 120 years!" The guests would shout "Amen!" and Rav Chaim would step down from the chair, satisfied that he had taken action to uphold the value of shalom bayis and a lasting marriage. (Reb Chaim Gelb: A Life of Chessed)