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April 17th, 2011

02:05 pm - Pesach cleaning
Pesach starts tomorrow night, and I still haven't cleaned my house.

I want to, I really do, but my ME has been very bad lately after me doing overtime at work, and I'm going through quite a bad relapse and cleaning tires me out. I know I'm not going to get it done in time and this really worries me. Does anyone else have this problem?

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February 6th, 2011

02:24 am - NYC youth with disabilities: Spend the summer in Spain!

NYC youth with disabilities - spend part of the summer in Spain on a leadership and cultural exchange! Eight young adults with disabilities from New York City will kick-off their summer in Madrid, Spain. Generous scholarships available! Visit http://www.miusa.org/exchange/currentprogs/spain/spain2011 for more details and to apply.

Learn more about the programCollapse )

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September 1st, 2010

07:44 am - Get Your Exchange Story Told and Receive $50!
Please share this with people who have studied, volunteered, researched, or worked abroad with a disability (can include mental-health related and other non-apparent disabilities):

The National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange (NCDE) is offering $50 for disability stories on international exchange, including options to submit blogs and featured person profiles. People with disabilities can take advantage of this added incentive to share overseas study, volunteer, work and research experiences! International and U.S. people with disabilities are encouraged to email submissions, but they must be currently living in the United States to receive the award. The deadline is September 8, 2010. Learn more on our stories and blogs webpage.

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March 1st, 2010

07:03 pm - Purim and the autistic spectrum
As you all know, it was Purim yesterday. While I did do something for Purim - I sang at a Purim concert at an old people's home with the synagogue choir - I didn't actually go to the Megillah reading, because I cannot hack it. I have Aspergers Syndrome, and when I went last year, I had to leave within 10 minutes because I just could not cope with the noise. I know it's expected, but I still find it really difficult because it sent me into sensory overload. I feel really guilty cos I know it's a mitzvah to hear the Megillah being read, but sitting through a lot of people shouting and setting off airhorns and stuff is absolute hell for me, plus there are a lot of kids there and I don't want to freak them out by having a meltdown.
Those of you who are autistic or have Aspergers Syndrome, how do you cope with Purim?

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May 28th, 2008

01:27 pm - Deaf Ineligible for Conversion, Rabbi Says
I can't begin to explain how horrified I am about this as a religious Jew and someone with a disability.


Rabbi says deaf 'ineligible for conversion'
Those who cannot hear, cannot fulfill mitzvoth and therefore, believes rabbinical court in 2008, cannot convert to Judaism

by Rivkah Luvitch

Anyone inflicted with a severe hearing and speech impediment cannot undergo Jewish conversion. This harsh statement was recently made by Rabbi Avraham Sherman of the Chief Rabbinical Court, in a ruling now made public.

And so the story goes: Many years ago a deaf woman appeared before the Conversions Court and declared her desire to become a Jew so she could marry her Jewish love. The court ruled in the majority that there was no point in converting her, since the Halacha exempts the deaf from performing mitzvahs; and since the conversion would be rendered insignificant, there was no way to perform it.

The court's reasoning was that since the Halacha says that "one who is deaf, one who is young and one who is a simpleton shall be exempt form ordinance," the woman in deemed incapable of observing mitzvahs, thus incapable of accepting the burden of ordinance, which is the cornerstone of conversion.

Rabbi Shlomo Dichovsky, in the minority opinion, looked at the core issue of "accepting the burden of faith," and whether it should be considered a prerequisite for conversion or its essence. Dichovsky believes that the deaf can be converted. The woman's entitlement, he said, will not rest on the spiritual-practical plane of observing mitzvahs alone, but on the overall plane of being a part of the Jewish people.

"The appellant has every right to seek conversion since she resides and works among Jewish people," he wrote. "Conversion should be hers if she so wants it."

Rabbi Sherman, however, remained adamant: "Any conversion preformed on the deaf will have no spiritual bearing. Observing mitzvahs has nothing to do with the act of conversion, not should anyone refer to it as such. It is the impartation of being Jewish without the essence of Jewishness."

I was upset by his words. The thought that parts of Jewish law categorically prevent admission of the deaf into the flock sent shivers down my spine. What happens if a family wants to adopt a deaf child? The Rabbinical Court would not agree to convert the child. And what if a family wishes to convert and one of its sons is hearing impaired? Will the court convert all but one?

The thought that there are some among the nations who will not be able to become Jews because a physical impairment apparently renders them devoid of the spiritual capability to embrace Judaism's ordinance, shakes my Jewish world to its core.

This is not my Judaism.

Original Article Here

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May 14th, 2008

05:14 pm - Orthodox Rabbi with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
This was both interesting and inspiring, though I don't know many people with CFS/CFIDS/ME who can imagine getting through rabbinical school let alone rabbinical AND medical school. Still, it's cool that the world has a new rabbi (and doctor!) who knows what it's like to struggle with chronic illness.

From http://www.forward.com/articles/13174/ :

Jonah Feldman, a candidate for ordination at Yeshiva University, made his decision to become a rabbi in the midst of an illness. As an undergraduate at Y.U., Feldman came down with a mysterious malady that sapped his strength and left doctors baffled. During his months of struggling with the disease, Feldman resolved to become both a doctor and a rabbi — a doctor so that he could help others who were sick, and a rabbi because he craved some spiritual meaning beyond science. The disease, eventually diagnosed as chronic fatigue syndrome, gradually subsided, and Feldman has found the energy to complete both rabbinical school and medical studies at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Once he graduates, Feldman expects to enter the medical field as an oncologist.

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May 9th, 2008

03:42 pm - Iran VS Israel

Current Music: O.B.E.Y. - Romanec of misanthropy

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April 18th, 2008

07:49 pm - Limper woman goes to Hong Kong wants advice

So, I am traveling to Hong Kong for a few days. Just me my AB boyfriend and my CP with my drunken looking gate. So has anyone traveled to Hong Kong as American with a disability? What do you recommend? What can I expect? My BF wants to do a walking tour of main-land China. Could I have the walking be optional and use a chair? I don’t want to hold people up in the walking tour.

Thanks for the help in advance!!

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April 7th, 2008

12:15 am - Summer camp for Jewish autistic kids and their families
(cut and pasted from weirdjews, where I originally saw it - i have no info but what's here)

camping program for families of autistic children


Most important points:
obviously, this is aimed at Jewish families. The main camp itself is affiliated with the Conservative movement, but this program accepts any Jewish family.
limited to 20 families
choice of 2 five night sessions
cost is $750 per family
structured as independent daytime programs for autistic kids, for their siblings, and for their parents, with families together only in the evening, and possibly separate activities for the parents later on at night.

(posted to both shuls)

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February 3rd, 2008

11:43 pm - Refuah list?
I have a number of chronic illnesses, most of which wax and wane to some degree. I don't go to shul often for a number of reasons (one of which is a health issue which is starting not to be a problem), but when I do go, they always ask for names for the misheberach. Everyone at my home shul knows my Hebrew name already, so if I were to volunteer myself for the list, they'd know it was me I was asking for.

Does anyone here do feel comfortable doing stuff like that? I've put myself on an online refuah list, but…

I'm just torn about the whole idea. I'm not asking for nor expecting complete healing, but it sure would be nice to feel that I can ask for improvement. Something feels a bit selfish to me about asking for refuah at every service when they do a misheberach.

This was going to be a much more articulate post, but my English skills are failing me.

Uhm, thoughts?

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