I don’t ask why, I ask what.

About 4 years ago, people often asked how it is that I never ask why I had to become a quadriplegic with a near loss of control over my body.

My answer was twofold. Firstly,I never got angry because to me anger implies an object against whom you direct your anger.  Now, objectively who would I be angry at, other than God?

Which leads me to my second point.  If I would imagine to know why this catastrophe (from our limited perspectives) I would be God.

This all leads me to a major emotional inner motivator.  I simply refuse to surrender to worthless despondence,  useless depression and purposeless anger.

I just want to give myself the best shot of being happy with whatever Hashem throws in my way.  For the rabbis teach that only such an individual can be truly rich.

Now that I find myself in this new position, I have to ask the same question.  I ask God WHAT are my obligations in my world now?  With my limited capabilities, How can I best serve Hashem?

In Hebrew this idea works neatly.  I don’t ask lama, instead I ask lema(same Hebrew letters).

In short, be happy with what you have(after all it always could be worse!).


  1. Lauren Shaps · · Reply

    Thank you Rabbi Simes!

    1. No, No! Thank You!

  2. Helen Zipes · · Reply

    Very well put Rabbi. In rehab, we really try to focus on doing the best with what you have, not focussing on what you lost. All the best Helen

    Sent from my iPad


    1. You and I couldn`t know that better!

  3. Rabbi, your bitachon and emunah gives me chizuk. Thank you so much for writing. May you and your family experience open reveled good.

    1. And Thank You so much for this beautiful bracha!

  4. Marge Kaplan · · Reply

    You are an inspiration. May you go from strength to strength.

    Marge & Harvey

    1. My dear uncle and auntie, talking about inspirations, you have always stood by my side through thick and thin. If I am somewhat of an inspiration, you have a huge part in that. I can’t thank you enough!

  5. This cuts right to the core. It explains well how your recent ‘setback’ is seen in the perspective of a new journey.

    1. Thank you for these kind words. You are the best!

  6. I should paste this on the wall … Beautiful inspiration…wishing you continued strength on this journey…. With much admiration

    1. Thank you for these lovely words! They mean a lot to me. Keep on rolling!

  7. Michael Stein · · Reply

    Yehuda, your refusal to be negative or angry is truly awe-inspiring. From the start, years ago, you were this way, and I was always amazed that no hint of anger ever appeared. “Le mah?” For what purpose? To inspire us!

    1. My dear brother Michael, my appreciation knows no bounds! You have stood by me and with me for so many years. Continue rolling along!

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