Hi – Hope you’re having a great day.
… I wanted to share an amazing experience with you.
We just returned from visiting our nephew Yehudah (and niece Shaindel) inOttawa.
As you may remember, Yehudah suffered serious spinal injury in a car accident.
We last saw him in the summer of 2010, shortly after the accident.
Very few people with his level of spinal injury even survive the accident!
He was in intensive care and doctors weren’t sure if he would ever breathe on his own.
… Fast forward a year and a half?
We were absolutely amazed at the progress that he has made.
Not only does he breathe on his own?
He talks, jokes, studies Torah and is involved in every aspect of his nine children’s lives!
(This includes giving them rides on his motorized wheel chair!)
And as you may also remember, Yehudah’s passion is teaching.
He has dedicated his life to teaching Torah to Jewish kids and adults.
Yehudah was determined to return to the classroom.
And he is now in school one period a week teaching Jewish philosophy!
… Yehudah has also regained some feeling and movement in certain areas.
In fact, he was still celebrating a pretty recent “milestone”.
One that gives him tremendous joy.
What is it that this amazing person celebrates…
He is now able to turn the pages in his prayer book!
And Yehudah told me about another milestone.
It’s about saying the Shma, the Jewish declaration of faith.
“Here Israel, the Lord is our G-d, the Lord is one.”
Traditionally, to insure concentration, we cover our eyes when reciting the Shma.
Yehudah told me…
“I was not able to do that.
And one day, for the first time, with assistance…
I raised my hands to my eyes.
“And I was drowning in tears!”
… As excited as Yehudah is about returning to the classroom?
His biggest frustration remains that he can not, at this time, teach more.
But the truth is?
He teaches and inspires, by example, Jews of all backgrounds, all over the world.
I’m honored to be one of his students!
And I would like to invite you to become his student as well!
To be inspired by him to take a small, but very meaningful, Jewish step.
A step that will connect you to thousands of years of Jewish history.
Consider taking five seconds every day to say the Shma.
Think of Yehudah. Be thankful that you can raise your hands to cover your eyes.
“Sh’ma Yisroel, Adonoy Elohaynu, Adonoy e-chod.”
(If you already say the Shma daily?
Be inspired by Yehudah to say it with even more feeling!)
And the most powerful thing you can do to make Yehudah’s day?
Drop me a note that he has inspired you and I will pass it on!