A Perk Of Being A Quad Who’s On A Respirator

I can see you all wondering, “What is the perk of being in my situation? What is the Rolling Rabbi on!?”.

Actually, I am thankfully off of all the powerful narcotics that reduced my unbearable pain, but at the same time played with my mind!

For example, one time early on I was sure I was hearing symphony music. I had my worried brother-in-law running around the rehab center trying to find the source of the phantom music!

But at least my pain was somewhat under control!

So, what could possibly be a perk now that I’ve been hit with my present situation?

I find that I’m closer to Hashem than ever before!

I now pray like I never prayed before. I now cry to Hashem like I never cried before. I now connect to Hashem like never before.

Being trapped in this weakened body has caused all these benefits!

I feel the presence of Hashem so much during my day. Especially during painful times.

I have no one to rely on besides Him!

I recall when I was a classroom teacher. Whenever I would enter the classroom,  I would pause and say a short prayer.

It went something like this. “I can’t possibly teach this class without your help. I’m so alone! Please let me succeed in my quest to teach Your children.”.

I should tell you that I’m not a born teacher, being the shy guy that I am. I believe any success I may have had was due to my unquenchable thirst to get the job done right, and my prayers!

I discovered that the strongest prayers were when I stood outside a rowdy class. I really meant it then!

This is similar to the pouring out of my heart when I pray and cry now.

When I explained all of this to a friend, he pointed out that there is a Ramban whose commentary supports such an idea!

This can be found in Deuteronomy 11:10.

He explains why the land of Israel is not like the land of Egypt. The explanation is that Egypt is a fruitful land with many streams and lakes. Whereas Israel is a barren land, having to rely on rains from heaven.

He seems to go on to say that Israel in essence is insecure, and by its very nature must rely on heart felt prayer.

This has poignant meaning in our days. We know that we are sorrily lacking in security in Israel. To whom do we have to rely on other than Hashem?

The Ramban actually relates this to sick people. They are so insecure and in need of Hashem’s mercy that they can be expected to turn to Hashem with full hearts.

It is apparent to me that this applies to anyone who faces challenges. They aught to create a close connection to Hashem. They are in such a precarious condition that it is natural to turn to Hashem.

I hope you take this powerful lesson to heart, for whom among us does not face tremendous challenges?


  1. Lauren Shaps · · Reply

    Thank you for your inspiring message. May all of our prayers be answered l’tov!

    1. You too, among all of Israel!

  2. Zev Singer · · Reply

    Bli neder, I’m going to use this advice. Reading this blog post is making me realize I need to stop and ask Hashem for help more often than I do. Thank you. You give new meaning to the term Holy Roller.

    1. You are a great student! BTW, the project is coming along

      1. Zev Singer · ·

        Great! Can’t wait to hear about it!

  3. Zachary Muroff · · Reply

    Your words are so inspiring. May Hashem continue to give you the ability to spread your wonderful thoughts throughout the world.

    1. Wow! If I could I would blush!

  4. Marge kaplan · · Reply

    You are a source of inspiration and guidance.

    Just saw Malcah. She too has bodily restrictions as her knees and shoulder will not be repaired. However, her mind is clear. At 92 she is managing with Elaine’s help to continue to live at home.


    1. My dear Aunt Marge!
      I know from experience the mind is the main thing! For that we should be most grateful!

  5. Akiva Males · · Reply

    Dear Yehuda,
    Thanks so much for getting me to sign up to follow your blog.
    I shared this post with our Minyan at Shul tonight in between Mincha / Maariv.
    Very powerful — and a terrific Ramban to know about as well.
    Everyone at the Minyan was very moved.
    Yasher Koach for continuing to serve as a teacher to a different (but perhaps even larger) classroom than what you were used to.
    I look forward to reading more of your posts.
    Stay strong, and please keep sharing your wisdom with Klal Yisroel.
    Your friend,
    Akiva Males
    Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

    1. Dear Akiva, You always flatter me! Incidentally, I received your excellent article. Thanks so much!

  6. Harry beck · · Reply

    Rabbi. You remind me of a powerful line from a movie the green mile. One character is telling the other….get busy living! Or get busy dying! You have chosen to live! Hashem gives you the strength and belief. What an inspiration you are. Harry

  7. Wow! Great line!

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