Both Orthonomics and DovBear have posted about Rabbi Horowitz's excellent letter concerning people who give to causes such as Chai Rotel rather than to more urgent, pressing needs in the community. However, in his comments, Lakewood Yid (who is rapidly becoming one of my favorite posters to pull apart now that Heshy is gone) suggests that this isn't necesarily the case. Concerning the examples that Rabbi Horowitz bring, LY suggests that perhaps the people who should have received the money that went to Chai Rotel should have given to Chai Rotel for yeshuos!
Now, I don't know if the "yeshuos" that the Chai Rotel people promise are real or bunk (although, admittedly, my bunk-o-meter is in the red zone). Nonetheless, I'm willing to keep an open mind about this. Therefore, I'm asking Lakewood Yid (or anyone else who wants to step up to the plate) for something to back up the claims of the Chai Rotel people. Specifically, I'm looking for one of two types of evidence:
1. A study showing that people who give to Chai Rotel have their wishes fulfilled more often than those who don't. (Please note that anecdotal stories do not make a study) Studies must show the methodolgy used to be considered.
2. Some source in classic Jewish literature showing that giving Chai Rotel for people to drink in Meron on Lag B'Omer conferrs "yeshuos" to the one giving. Preferably, such source should be over 100 years old. Such sources will not automatically be considered authoritative, but will be evaluated accordingly.
Any takers? Or is Chai Rotel just a modern scam?