Addedum to last post (“A Tale of Blind Men”)

A thought.

Much like the men in the story, you would have to be blind not to notice that we are drowning in luxuries.  It permeates us as it surrounds all around us! Each person ought to focus on the myriad of blessings that they’re showered with!

In my case,  here’s but a few that I’m aware of:

I’ll start with the biggees.

I am blessed to be alive, escaping the likelihood of imminent death numerous times.

A few examples.

Over the years I left the land of the living,and was resuscitated by paramedics(when I checked out at home),and by the doctors(when I checked out at the hospital).

Here’s a few instances.

When the”accident”first occurred,and my spinal cord was crushed nearly completely right through,the lesion was at the very high level(c4,c5).  In all likelihood I should have been able to take shallow breaths for a matter of a short few minutes.Let alone the ability to speak.In actuality,I breathed and spoke(screamed from massive pain) for about 45 minutes before help arrived and they were able to extricate me from our van(using the”jaws of life”)!

On Pesach, a couple of  years ago,I suffered from a respiratory arrest.I am told that an ambulance arrived in short order,and the medics brought me back.

I also suffered from a couple of major heart attacks in the hospital. I feel no chest pains,or other classical symptoms of a heart attack.I just “happened” to be in the hospital for other reasons.In one case, I received four stents,and in the other,it took five full minutes to revive me.No brain damage!

Now for the small gifts.

For those familiar with Israeli folk music, Matanot Ketanot.  For those unfamiliar, utube tsemed yeled matanot ketanot.

I will limit myself to my present condition(honestly, with the onset of my quadriplegia there is no end to the gifts)

I am blessed with this too cool device which allows me to “simply” gaze at letters on a screen.  The computer, like magic, then verbalizes that which I’ve typed.  I can even choose the voice and accent!  I chose “Peter”, a British chap who sounds quite intelligent.   This screen is mobile in that it can be installed onto my power chair.  A friend who was in speech pathology, told me that such technology was non existent a mere 15 years ago.  It is difficult to imagine not being able to communicate with this technology(I know because I suffered through being soundless for quite a few months).

I also have a couple of fancy delancy respirators.  One comes along with me wherever I go.  It is installed on the back of my power chair.  My second respirator is stationary and is equipped with a humidifier. This one I use as I sleep.  Both respirators have really cool settings, personalized to my breathing patterns.  What a blessing!

I also have a hot to trot in/ex machine. I have this machine because I can’t clear my throat or cough. (You do that countless times every day, thank G-d). In my case secretions build up in my lungs. Much like a vacuum, the in/ex machine sucks my secretions out of my lungs.  What a wonderful gift!

Once we become sensitive to the overabundant presents from Hashem, we will be much less likely to sweat the small stuff!!  Our overabundant presents.

No matter how hot of a climate you live in 🙂



  1. Zev Singer · · Reply

    This is really, really great stuff, Rabbi Simes. These details you share are so powerful in bringing home your message. And what a great message. I’m going to go think up my own list of great blessings before I go to bed tonight.

  2. Yehuda,
    חג כשר ושמח
    Whatever I say will be trite compared to what you wrote. Keep writing and inspiring us all, on multiple continents.

    1. I will, with G-d`s help and your cheering!

  3. Everyday is truly a gift. I’m so thankful for every morning and the sun is shining . Stuff is nice but I learned a long time ago that the gift of friends and family is truly the best stuff.

    1. Thank You for these profound words. You are so right!

  4. Since I’ve known you, you were subject to monumental yesurim. The loss of your parents at a young age, quadriplegia, and now quadriplegia without the ability to speak. When I suffered yesurim, I was always told that Hashem gives suffering to people in accordance with what they are capable of enduring, as if to say that it was a badge of honor. What does that say about you? Could it be that you are a unique exceptional tzaddik. I have actually always felt that way about you even before all these unique exceptional yesurim.

    1. I want you to know (and my dear readers) that early on in my journey, I asked a question of an adam gadol (a great man) who came for a visit. I was bothered about the implications of my catastrophic challenge. I asked whether I should view my tough situation as a punishment, or perhaps Hashem chose me to rise to higher spiritual levels? He answered something simple yet profound. “What’s the difference?”. I understood that the task before me was not to ask why, but to do and and to die.

  5. tuviahoffman · · Reply

    Such beautiful thoughts… what amazing Torah this is!

    1. Gee thanks!

  6. I love reading your blog Rabbi. It should be mandatory reading in classrooms across this country … Your courage humbles me. Your encouraging thoughts are a blessing to those reading these beautiful words. Thank you for this gift today.

    1. You make me very happy!
      Chag Sameach!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: