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Conscious Thinking

Over the past number of weeks a number of people in my life, including members of our community, have been struck by injuries that have rendered them temporarily disabled. And each one has reflected upon their experiences out in the world. 

The Tehillah community was blessed to have Debbie Eiseman, who we lost about a year ago, as a member who taught us that those with physical challenges were not invisible. She was a teacher in every way. Over the course of her illness, she moved from using a walker to being confined to a wheelchair. But her physical challenges in no way defined her. 


The challenge I put before us for this week and beyond in Debbie’s memory is how do we take the lessons she taught us and act on them. Whether someone has a temporary or long-term physical challenge, how do we respond in their presence? How do we make sure that we continue to see them in the fullness of their being? Not everyone is as powerful as Debbie was in making sure her presence would not be ignored.

This kind of conscious thinking and seeing is not a mitzvah that donation can solve. Rather, it relates to the biblical injunction of “not putting a stumbling block before the blind.” A stumbling block is that which makes someone feel less than who they are, whether physically or mentally.

As we go forward through the year, let us take on the mitzvah of conscious thinking and seeing those around us.

Tue, October 3 2023 18 Tishrei 5784