Many of the HANC students have been inspired by the life story of Rabbi Yitzy Hurwitz. Rabbi Hurwitz is a Chabad rabbi living in California who was diagnosed with ALS in 2013. Due to the rapid progression of the disease, he is only able to move his eyes and communicates through a computer that tracks his eye movement with a laser and enables him to type one letter at a time.
Rabbi Hurwitz wrote a song “Shine a Little Light” that was made into a beautiful video that has been a source of many lessons in our classrooms. When Morah Batsheva Fink heard that Rabbi Hurwitz was being flown to New York for his youngest son’s bar mitzvah, she quickly arranged to bring a group of students to meet him. It was an experience that defies words. When asked how he can always remain so positive, Rabbi Hurwitz’s computer generated voice explained that Hashem runs this world and He has a plan for each and every person. Obviously Hashem’s plan must be for him to have this disease and who is he to question that plan. He gave an overall special message to the HANC girls and then gave them a berachah that they should be happy with themselves.
The girls were also privileged to meet with his wife and family. One of the girls commented that Rabbi Hurwitz never speaks a word of lashon ha’ra and never says a bad word about anybody. When it takes so much effort to produce each word, why would you waste it saying negative, inconsequential things?
The lessons gained from this experience were unfathomable. The girls truly walked away feeling that they had been privileged to have a once in a lifetime experience. In his message Rabbi Hurwitz told the girls that they had made his day by visiting him. The truth is, he made their day and perhaps even their life.
Thank you Jillian Moldovan, Rebecca Linder, Lila Dublin, Lily Sasoon, Abby Kahn, and Aderet Weiss for visiting with Rabbi Hurwitz. Thank you to Morah Batsheva Fink for arranging for the students to have this experience.