Kids of Courage, the Commonality of Disability, and Elul

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13 Responses

  1. Yitzchok Adlerstein says:

    I have no idea why the site is displaying a title of “Auto Draft,” rather than the proper, if somewhat cumbersome, title that I supplied is “Kids of Courage, the Commonality of Disability, and Elul.”

  2. Raymond says:

    Children who are born disabled, is far easier for non-believers to explain: stuff simply happens, nature could not care less who deserves or does not deserve such suffering, and that is that. But for the religious person, it may be harder to explain this, other than to say that reincarnation is a reality, or that the purpose of our lives is not primarily for enjoyment, as much as it is a grand school from which to learn lessons about life. I personally do not have the inner toughness required to deal with children born with deformities, but such people are a visible reminder to me of just how lucky I am to have been born a relatively well-functioning human being.

  3. Gershon Spiegel says:

    As a grateful parent of one of the “kids of Courage”, I readily concurr with Rabbi Adlerstein’s article. It is impossible to appreciate the level of support both in people, medical personnel and supplies required to carry out this one week long event for so many people. My daughter will not soon forget this wonderful experience.

  4. Debbie says:

    Reading this article, I am simply in awe of Kids of Courage, and the people like your son who run it. These are young people who have taken up a cause greater than themselves, with no other motive other than bringing joy to children who face daily challenges that we should never know of. We all clearly have so much to learn from the amazing kids and staff of Kids of Courage. Beautifully written article.

  5. barry says:

    “We are not talking about issurim here, but about lack of lechatchilah. In the case of your son, is there any greater lechatchilah than to bring him the most simcha and joy in the time HKBH has assigned to him?”

    If Ari is wise enough to offer arguments like the above, he lost nothing by not attending law school. May he continue to have the impact on others as great as he’s already had.

    [YA – He registered, took finals, maintained his scholarship, graduated and took the NY Bar. (We believe that HKBH took his finals for him.) Now all he needs is a job 🙂 ]

  6. Rabbi Shmuel Jablon says:

    Yasher koach to you–and most of all to Ari. The mesirut nefesh of the volunteers should inspire us all.

  7. Dovid Kornreich says:

    “We are not talking about issurim here, but about lack of lechatchilah. In the case of your son, is there any greater lechatchilah than to bring him the most simcha and joy in the time HKBH has assigned to him?”

    If Ari is wise enough to offer arguments like the above, he lost nothing by not attending law school.

    Does this argument strike anybody else as being more a secular humanist/hedonist/epicurean argument than a Jewish one? Indeed, one that a lawyer would make but not a rabbi?
    I have no objection whatsoever to chessed, but how does one’s immanent death augment the urgency for “simcha” (read: pleasure and excitement to the point of indulgence) in a Jewish world view?
    Is this not the philosophy of “eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die”?

  8. mb says:

    “Does this argument strike anybody else as being more a secular humanist/hedonist/epicurean argument than a Jewish one?”

    Not one bit.

  9. Ori says:

    Dovid Kornreich, what is the reason for separating boys and girls at this age? Does it enhance holiness in prepubescent children (I assume that is the group discussed), or is it a fence so they won’t intermingle when they are older and modesty becomes more of an issue? If it is the second, then is there any point in worry about it with children who, heavens forbid, are not likely to get to that age?

  10. Dovid Kornreich says:

    To Ori:
    I wasn’t criticizing the notion of accepting a bide’eved for the sake of a greater chessed.
    But how does Ari conceive this greater chessed? IMHO, it seems to be a conception of chessed which is foreign to Judaism. That is my criticism.

  11. Miriam says:

    Dovid Kornreich – Seems you are questioning the fundamental concept of vacation. I don’t think that family was – terribly limited by their son’s general inability to travel, the opportunity to give their son a pleasant vacation had a lot of appeal.

    Whether this group with separate buses, an always divided room and most importantly same-gender staff allocation – yet mixed attendance to all programming – is truly “lack of lechatchilla” or Ari’s diplomatic way to acknowledge some less-than-ideal for the Chassidic family, can also be debated. And the true halachic process does indeed balance various factors for the overall needs and benefits of the people involved.

  12. cvmay says:

    Rav A. Birnbaum wrote an article in the Yated about a month ago, regarding the issue of ‘Having Fun”. Lamenting the fact that todays youth and families will go to extremes to reach the optimal of ‘having fun’. I tend to disagree, the path to fun, excitement, pleasure is really a travelfest for HAPPINESS. The quest for Happiness is a worthy enterprise and is the core to a healthy Torah existence. Fun, excitement and pleasure opens the door slightly to let in some well-needed happiness!! Go for it..

  13. Miriam says:

    cvmay – Your contribution reminds me of a comment from my holy Teimani cleaner, that people today make little children’s birthday parties so fancy you would think they’re a bat/bar mitzvah – and even as a major milestone that’s overdoing it. That it’s the ice cream and cake, some age appropriate fun games and a little joyful song that the kids really love.

    I’m sure there is an element of overdone vacations and unhappier chilren, but we try to stick with the crowd that does more average things and enjoys them.

    I read somewhere that happiness is best a byproduct than a primary purpose, that if you’re too busy asking yourself “am I enjoying myself” of course you won’t. Not disagreeing with what you said, rather acknowledging that happiness can be cultivated within a Torah perspective and it takes awareness.

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