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Hope you’re having a great day.
… I wanted to share an experience that I had this week.
I was asked to speak for a group of Jewish high school kids.
Something I love to do!
The topic was up to me.
But it had to be short. And something they would listen to.
(And not sit there with that “whatever” expression!)
I wasn’t sure that opening with a reference to Maimonides would do it.
So I figured I would try the Jay Leno show!
…What was my topic?
“Why a Jew Should Feel Like a Million Bucks in December”.
They had heard of the expression, “The Raising a Jewish Kid in December Blues”.
That many Jewish parents find December challenging.
Because Jewish kids have this “little tiny minor holiday” in December.
And around them?
They see this “huge” holiday! Including presents every night!
And I wanted these kids to know that it’s a shame.
That if we knew what Chanukah gave to the world, we would feel like a million bucks!
… I asked them if they remembered President Obama being on the Leno show.
And how he got himself into trouble.
Some of them did.
Because when you’re on Leno?
You have to try to be funny.
And the president made an off the cuff remark.
Which came across as an affront to the Special Olympics.
And as soon as he said it, he realized it was inappropriate.
By the time it was actually aired on television, he had already apologized.
But it was too late.
… How did people respond?
Just about everyone agreed on one thing.
That Special Olympics are sacred!
Not something you make jokes about!
… It’s something we should think about as Jews.
Because the Olympics originated in Ancient Greece.
And there were no Special Olympics there.
For a very simple reason.
There were no people with special needs.
Because a baby that was not “perfect” was left on a mountain to die!
So what happened?
Why are there Special Olympics today?
Why does a remark by the most powerful person in the world put him on the “hot seat”?
Because the Jewish People changed the world with its Torah!
We taught that every human being is created in the Image of G-d.
And entitled to respect, dignity and, of course, life!
As Jews, we should be proud of what we taught the world.
And we should feel like a million bucks in December!