My Life Saving Inclusion

It is difficult to put into words my good fortune of being enveloped within a loving family and community ever since the accident.

I was made aware by a reader in New York how fortunate I truly am! I was cheered on by adoring members of my family and community throughout my journey.  This includes both the ups and downs.

Sadly there are cases where exclusionary tactics are employed against disabled individuals. This makes me shudder with wonderment where I would be if I hadn’t benefited from such loving care and concern.

Some examples that helped and help me get through follow.

Within days of the accident, three initiatives took place.

There was a massive prayer rally that was held at the local Jewish community center.  We were informed that attendance was standing room only.  What a boost we felt in the hospital at Syracuse!  All colors and shades of Ottawas community showed up.   We felt that this alone should be a merit for my recovery!

Also, my students ran a fund raising project which included a car wash at the school parking lot.  This project raised a tremendous amount of money.  Especially considering this aggressive project was conceived of and implemented by my grade school students!  A feeling of love and togetherness swept over us!

Then there was a shabbat observance project.  This was successfully spearheaded by my close friend and partner at Torah High!  This initiative encouraged people to increase their shabbat observance whatever they may already be keeping.   Again we felt that if we could be the conduit of so much good something positive would come from it!

Indeed we always felt we were on a wide group attack against quadriplegia!

This care and concern continues to this day.

The myriad of visitors and well wishes testify  togetherness to our remarkable community!

I truly feel that I have a powerful task force  on my side!



  1. Lauren Shaps · · Reply

    We only wish that we could do more!

  2. Dr. Sandee Eiduson · · Reply

    You sure do Rabbi Simes! It is because of all the loving you and your family give others. AND the wonderful people you call “family.” Rabbi Eliezer Lehrer is just ONE of the best, here in Rochester!

  3. Janet Kaiman · · Reply

    I always enjoy reading your blog
    i still have the card with the special bracha for your recovery by my shabbat candles and include u each shabbat and chag

  4. Rina Lederman · · Reply

    It’s a nice reminder that there are nice people in this world.

  5. Baruch Lederman · · Reply

    Your comment “Sadly there are cases where exclusionary tactics are employed against disabled individuals” reminds of the following: HoRav Dovid Feinstein shlit”a once asked me to check out a boy for a shidduch for his widowed daughter-in-law. I mentioned this to someone who told me that many people in the same situation as HoRav Feinstein would not have extended themselves in this manner. That remark both surprised and saddened me. Why do you think people would do this?

    1. Ben Wexler · · Reply

      @Baruch … There are many reasons why “exclusionary tactics are employed”. They can include social, financial, and religious reasons. Not just specifically against disabled individuals. However, it is seen a lot more with this community. We must, however, pressure our legislators in Congress/Parliament to continue to provide educational and financial backing to help people understand that just because someone is disabled, that does not mean they do not have the same rights as any other citizen.

      @Lauren … There are many things that could be done.. A weekly/monthly shiur given by Rabbi Simes, or a monthly bake sale on Rabbi Simes behalf and continued refuah with monies being donated appropriately. Torah Academy could do a monthly car wash with same intentions.

      May we continue to only hear good things and may we have the coming of Moshiach soon, so we can all dance in yerushalayim( that includes you Rabbi) !!!

  6. Allison · · Reply

    You are in our thoughts and prayers Rabbi Simes. My children were blessed to have had you as a teacher at Hillel and they will always carry with them the wonderful lessons which you taught them!! You have always been a very special person and teacher.

  7. …and what an inspiration back you are to the whole community

    1. You got to do what you got to do!

  8. Harrison Freeman · · Reply

    Even though I’m living in Boston, I love reading your posts rabbi.

    Thinking of you,



    1. Go Sox Go!!

  9. Marge Kaplan · · Reply

    People did this not only as a form of support but also as a way of giving back. Before your accident and following it you have been a giver to whomever you’ve been involvef with.

    Lunch today with Dena, Becky, Rachel , Elaine. Malcah,Harvey and me. Had a chance to catch up on some family lhistory

    1. Can you please send me an email with the family history? I would love that and so would my family!

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