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Zeesy is grateful!

Friday, 17 July, 2020 - 8:13 am

I was honored to represent Montana in the Ruderman Family Foundation initiative, celebrating thirty years since President George H. W. Bush signed the American with Disabilities Act into law (Click here and then click on Montana). Being Zeesy’s father, a child who has a rare medical condition and as a result has special needs, it was especially meaningful. It’s humbling to recognize that children, and adults, with unique needs, didn’t always have the support of society; parents, politicians, educators and almost everyone used to see special children as burdensome and unworthy of a warm and loving home. It is by the grace of G-d that this has changed, and we now understand that these wonderful souls deserve the same care and life experience as their “regular” peers.

In this week’s double Torah portion, Matot-Massei, we read about the tribes of Gad and Reuven who requested permission to stay on the east of the Jordan River, outside of Israel. They had lots of animals and believed that the pasture in Transjordan was more suited for their needs. When expressing themselves to Moses they said “We’ll build sheep enclosures for our livestock here and cities for our children…” assuring their beloved leader that they will take care of their business and familial obligations, help their fellow Jews conquer the Holy Land and only then return back home. In Moses’ response, he says, “So build yourselves cities for your children and enclosures for your sheep”, subtly reminding them that our priority must be our children, those most vulnerable in society, and our finances, the flock, are always  secondary.

As Americans, we have come a very long way in how we see and treat our fellow human beings. Yet, even today, in our prosperous United States, there are many who struggle, who aren’t ready to face a new day each morning. The struggles may be physical and thus visible, but they can also be internal, emotional or mental, and you’d never know it. Moses teaches us to care for those who can’t go it alone and each of us has the ability to do just that by reaching out to someone, a friend, coworker, acquaintance or neighbor and see how they are doing. Not just to give them the traditional Montana wave but to actually check in and see if you can be a shoulder for them to lean on and a friend for them to talk to.

Non nobis solum nati sumus!

May G-d guard our brethren in Israel and the world over from harm and send us Mashiach speedily. May G-d protect the armed forces of Israel and the United States wherever they may be. Shabbat Shalom! Chazak!!! L'Chaim!!!

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