The photograph was a fundraiser’s dream: a frail child in a gold-and-black dress struggling for balance on a walker. The caption accompanying the photo described her plight: “Ayalah [is] a beautiful five-year-old born with spina bifida and is paralyzed from the waist down.”
I’m torn, really. On the one hand, I really do not want to jump on the Pew Study response bandwagon. If I even the mention the study at this point I run the risk of losing a dozen readers right away. Please, stay with me.
Ever since our son was diagnosed with autism, at age two and a half, I'd been wondering about his bar mitzvah. I come from a family of shulgoers who lead services, read from the Torah, and sing. My husband does, too. He and I have been teaching b’nei mitzvah for decades, and the question of our son’s bar mitzvah loomed large for 10 years.
Before enlisting in the Israel Defense Forces, I put a lot of consideration into where I wanted to serve. I thought about how I would be able to make the most of my abilities and how I could best contribute. I understood that I would have to do something that I loved and felt connected to.