Honorable Mensch-ion

Generational Messages

Twenty to thirty years is considered to be a generation. We often consider the days as long but the years as short.

This shabbat marks 30 years since the celebration of my brother’s bar mitzvah, Parshat Korach. Eyal was a quadriplegic and ventilator dependent. His voice was silent, we read his lips to communicate. These physical restrictions did not stop Eyal from an aliyah to the Torah, chanting the haftorah, and delivering a most impactful d’var Torah to the standing room only congregation that summer shabbat morning in Syracuse, New York.

Ironically, his parsha was Korach, which focuses on leadership rebellion. The Torah teaches, “You shall not act similar to Korach and his company.” We must keep far away from disputes. Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch explains that quarreling can become a passion. No matter what the topics may be, a quarrelsome person enjoys making retorts. We must be aware of the tendency to quarrel for the sake of quarrelling.

Perhaps this parsha was meant to be. Anyone that met Eyal or learned of his story always walked away transformed by his innocence, his heart, his soul, and his smile. He transmitted optimism, hope, and a desire for people to come together.

A few months before his bar mitzvah, Eyal wrote the words below. He used a mouth-stick to slowly poke at a computer keyboard letter by letter.

While Eyal passed away at age 36, his words shared on his bar mitzvah 30 years later resonate so deeply. In a world where we dream of what could be, perhaps Eyal’s words will motivate us to dig deeper into our hearts to create the change we are looking for in our lives.

“It isn’t fair
I’m in a wheelchair
But I can do things you wouldn’t dare
If you see me rolling by
Just give a smile and say Hi!
I have a dream, that someday I will be able to walk and overcome all of my disabilities and God shall answer each and every one of our prayers, and when that day come, it will truly be a miracle.

Love, Eyal”

Comments are closed.