When we Visited My Dear Friend With ALS
March 1, 2017 - als
Whenever we am in LA, we make certain to revisit my
friend, Rabbi Yitzi Hurwitz. Yitzi was diagnosed with ALS a few years ago, and
has been fighting a conflict like a soldier. Yitzi and we had a series of
interactions during a yeshivah
years. We also connected during summer camp, and his mother was a neighbor of mine
when we was a child. Throughout a years, we’ve confirmed a friendship.
Instead of giving adult and succumbing to this
horrible illness, Yitzi has indeed incited a illness into a blessing. He now
writes a weekly column, along
with personal notes, musings and essays. His papers are fortifying and
inspiring. His summary is that people should not give adult when life throws them
challenges, though rather find a blessings within those challenges, regulating them
as a apparatus to find a deeper self.
Recently, we visited Yitzi with one of my older
sons. we was looking brazen to talking, pity some strength, and hopefully
absorbing some of his implausible energy. we also wanted my son to learn that
things are not ideal in genuine life, and to see how one implausible individual
responds to tragedy.
We arrived and were welcomed with a metallic
computerized words: “HOW IS PEABODY?” The difference came from Yitzi’s special
machine, on that he forms regulating his eyes. The record is incredible, and
you can indeed have a genuine conversation. He asks questions, he answers, and
he is quick and smart. While usually his eyes and lips are moving, his mind is
clearly handling during full speed, and maybe faster and crook than most
I played guitar and sang a few songs, as music
is another one of Yitzi’s passions. It also helped keep a appetite festive,
happy and light.
Before we left, he asked me to take a picture
with him, that of march we did. But we wondered why. At initial we suspicion he was hoping
that I’d post it to Facebook so that it would be his small sign to the
world, that “Hey, we am still here, and we am still relevant,” or
something judicious like that. Later we accepted how wrong we was.
He messaged me roughly immediately after we
left, thanking me for entrance over.
When we returned home, we mentioned to my wife
how certain and fortifying Yitzi is, and she replied with a elementary though profound
statement: “Because he is so positive, that is since we wish to be with
Think about it. Most of us have problems. Some
of us (perhaps really few of us) are mature adequate not to widespread a bad energy
around to those nearby to us. But when faced with a vital life issue, it is
totally normal to feel bad and mope, to be dim and disastrous and delight in
To be positive, optimistic, energetic, and a
proactive and prolific force in a face of such a predicament, well, that is
simply not human.
But Yitzi is only that. Human, normal, positive,
energetic and upbeat. He does not take from those around him, though he gives and
inspires. You leave feeling like we need to puncture deeper into yourself to find a
Positivity breeds positivity. Positivity is
attractive. Yitzi’s solid tide of visitors are not there since of
sympathy. They come since people are captivated to, and wish to be around his
positive, fortifying and confident energy.
In fact, Yitzi has such a solid tide of
visitors—yeshivah students, minyan services, low-pitched jam sessions,
etc.—that we felt absolved to have had him all to myself.
That is Yitzi. That is since he wanted me to take
that picture. Not for him, though for me! To remind me, and all those in my sphere
of influence, about what is a right approach to act, consider and respond to
Thank you, Yitzi.
I adore you, Yitzi.
May G‑d magnify we and reanimate your physical
medical situation, Yitzi.
P.S.: The costs for Yitzi’s ongoing treatment,
technological collection and comforts is exorbitant, so greatfully minister to the special account put together to assistance him and his
family. we have, and we wish we will too!