web analytics
August 3, 2015 / 18 Av, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

What I Learn From My Super Son

Rabbi Cohen and Yedidya

Rabbi Cohen and Yedidya

Leading up to the Super Bowl, an intriguing story about an avid fan came to light in the sports media. Matthew Jeffers, a senior majoring in acting at Towson University in Maryland, wrote an e-mail in late 2012 to the now-Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens, his favorite NFL team. It was a perspective of his struggles with skeletal dysplasia, in relation to the struggles of winning a Super Bowl, with the ultimate lesson that life is not fair, that it “does not care about three-game losing streaks, or four-game win streaks…. The only disability in life is a bad attitude…. A positive attitude is the most positive combatant to life’s misfortunes.”

February has been designated North American Inclusion Month (NAIM) by Yachad, a division of the Orthodox Union devoted to supporting individuals with special needs. What inspires me every day is the attitude of people like my Yedidya and Matthew Jeffers. They live life without fear and they confront new challenges each and every day. They have terrific attitudes. In this month, when we focus on shifting our attitudes toward the special-needs population, our task may just be to emulate these exceptional people in our midst.

Many of us have unfortunate attitudes. We fail to fully be there for others because we are too busy being focused on ourselves and our issues and problems. We let the vicissitudes of life too easily knock us down. It takes a spiritual giant to truly feel the pain of another and to be an “equal” in the truest sense.

My son’s disability does and will allow him to continue to give others this terrific gift of compassion and shared humanity. I choose to watch football with Yedidya over others because he not only makes me laugh with his enthusiasm and descriptions of the game but also because he teaches me profound lessons about the game of life.

About the Author: Rabbi Dovid M. Cohen, Esq., M.Sc., is the rabbi of the Young Israel of the West Side in Manhattan and a sought after scholar-in-residence. His first book, "We're Almost There: Living With Patience, Perseverance and Passion" is being published by Mosacia Press and will be ready after Sukkos.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “What I Learn From My Super Son”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Firefighters put out fire in firebombed car near Beit Hanina on August 3, 2105.
Jewish Woman Severely Burned, 2 More Injured in Yet Another Arab Firebombing Attack
Latest Indepth Stories
Graffiti at Duma home that was torched in Samara.

Some Israelis seem to have forgotten no one has yet tracked down the murderers of Ali Bawabsheh.

On-The-Bookshelf-logo

Aside from my own 485-page tome on the subject, Red Army, I think Jamie Glazov did an excellent job at framing things in United in Hate: The Left’s Romance with Tyranny and Terror.

Saltsman-073115

“Isn’t it enough that the whole world hates us? WHy do we have to hate each other?”

"Pistachios in our Time!"
US Secy of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif shake hands.

Who said Kerry won no concessions from Iran? He secured pistachios and Beluga caviar for America!

In 2015, Israel’s fertility rate (3+ births per woman) is higher than all Arab countries except 3

The New Israel Fund, as usual, condemns the State of Israel rather than condemning a horrible act.

I sought a Muslim group that claims to preach a peaceful and accepting posture of Islam, Ahmadiyya

While Orthodox men are encouraged to achieve and celebrated for it, Orthodox women too often are not

Jonathan remember, as long as you’re denied your right to come home to Israel you’re still in prison

Reports of a dead baby, a devastated family, and indications of a gloating attacker.

“The fear of being exposed publicly is the only thing that will stop people,” observed Seewald.

“Yesha” and Binyamin Regional Council leaders said the attack “is not the path of Jews in Judea and Samaria.”

The occasion? The rarely performed mitzvah of pidyon peter chamor: Redemption of a firstborn donkey.

American leftists have a pathological self-inflicted blindness to the dangers of political Islam

Hillary should THANK Trump; By dominating the news he’s overshadowed the implosion of her campaign

Hard to remember when Jewish youth were so hostile to their heritage as they are on campuses today.

More Articles from Rabbi Dovid M. Cohen
Kohn-071015

Overcoming the challenge of affluence and remaining a down to earth baal-middos is worthy of praise

Torah Curtain (detail) (2011) by Mark Podwal Fabricated by Penn and Fletcher Courtesy Yeshiva University Museum

There are three Jewish crowns: the crown of Torah, the crown of priesthood, and the crown of kingship.

“Am HaNetzach Eino Mefached Mi Derech Aruka” (An eternal people doesn’t fear the long journey).

The first month of 2014 has brought an intense high and a profound low.

At some point I noticed an arresting picture on his wall and discovered that his maternal grandfather was Rav Dovid Lifshitz.

There is always some tension surrounding Super Bowl Sunday as one decides whether to watch the big game with friends or go it alone. I have a friend who makes a compromise. He watches the first half with friends – or, as he explains, “the novices,” those who aren’t “real” fans – but the second half, generally the more intense part of the game, he watches alone.

It’s been a rough few weeks. It began with the news of a heinous crime just blocks from where I live on Manhatan’s Upper West Side: a nanny viciously took the lives of her two young charges. Hurricane Sandy came next, contributing additional loss of life and financial devastation of a magnitude never before experienced by our East Coast brethren.

I once heard a story about a single man struggling to find a spouse. His main challenge was his insistence that a potential mate permanently welcome his widowed mother into their marital home. A friend suggested that he speak with the great authority, Harav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt’l. The man shared with the Rav his delicate predicament. The Rav validated the man’s approach as acceptable. Sometime later, the man met his bashert, the special woman willing to live with his mom. They returned to Rav Shlomo Zalman for his blessing. Surprisingly, the Rav called the man aside and told him that they cannot live with his mother anymore. The young man was shocked. After all, on the previous visit, the Rav had supported his desire to find a woman who would accept their living with his mother.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/what-i-learn-from-my-super-son/2013/02/20/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: