Jewish Disabilities Month

Dear Friends,

In honor of Jewish disabilities month, I wanted to share the following.

I am a volunteer for the Jewish Foundation for Group Homes (JFGH) which provide services to those who are Jewish and are disabled in our community. Each year I lead a High Holiday/Sukkot program and a Passover seder and these two events are special moments for me each year.

When I am together with the residents of the JFGH apartment program in Rockville, it is truly a sacred occasion. I help them celebrate important Jewish moments and also am there to help them if they are dealing with challenging life cycle occasions. We laugh together, cry together, and most importantly, we spend time together.

If any of you are interested in becoming more involved in the JFGH, please contact me or Scott Bailey know of your desire to help out.

Think about Moses who stuttered, Jacob who limped, and others who had to overcome special needs in their lives. We are all differently abled and all have disabilities in some area. I can still remember how disabled I seemed when I spoke in public in high school and how nervous it made me feel. I know that I have a fear of heights which is a type of disability. Each of us has something that we just can’t do and I hope that we will recognize that although our disabilities may not be as visible as others, that each of us has different abilities.

It can be easy to dismiss folks who are disabled, folks who are different, people who are older, and others. I hope that we will realize that we are taught that we are all created by G-d and each of us is sacred. If/when we encounter someone who is disabled or differently abled, I hope we will be more patient, tolerant, and understanding. I also hope that each of us will give thanks for the blessings that have been bestowed upon us and focus on the abilities we do have, utilizing them to make a difference in our world.

Shabbat Shalom and I hope you will find the message below to help you make a difference,

Rabbi Bruce Aft
GMU Hillel Rabbinic Advisor

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