Nice Article: It's okay to have a disability!

RebeccaRe

Moose Enthusiast
Messages
684
Likes
2,693
Location
Massachusetts
I'll be you didn't know that February is Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance, and Inclusion Month (JDAIM)! But it is!

I found an excellent article that a rabbi wrote in honor of JDAIM about her experience having a disability: https://reformjudaism.org/blog/2019/02/07/hiding-my-disability-kept-me-my-fullest-life

Even if you're not Jewish or not religious, it's just a nice article. Like me, she grew up feeling like any illness was a sign of physical or moral weakness. But as she's gotten older she's learned to feel more comfortable in her identity as a person with disabilities, and she has learned to be kinder to herself.

When Jews internalize the hatred of Jews by others and turn it upon themselves, we say they are self-hating Jews. By much the same mechanism, ableism can be internalized. Very young, I absorbed the message that illness and disability were things to be ashamed of, and so I hid my troubles in shame. It was only when another disabled rabbi gave me permission to value myself as I was, by modeling that very behavior for me, that things began to change for the better in my life.

Leviticus 19:14 teaches us that we are forbidden to curse the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind. We are not to treat people badly because they are disabled. This prohibition extends to all persons with disabilities, including ourselves.
 
Last edited:

Wolfcub

Moderator
Messages
1,012
Likes
2,603
Location
SW UK
Yes this is very moving and very true, @RebeccaRe
The older I get, the more people I speak to and hear about, the more I begin to realise that in fact almost everybody I know has some form of disability. Embracing one anothers' uniqueness is what is important not any illusions of "perfection". (actually there is no such thing....only uniqueness.)

Thank you for sharing this.
 
Messages
3,601
Likes
9,157
Location
Alabama USA
@RebeccaRe That article touched me to the center of my pain. I came from a home where being sick was not OK. it has been a hard road to not seeing myself the way I was taught to as a child, a lazy malingerer given to self pity. That was the view I have been trying to change all my life. Thank you for posting this article!
 
Last edited:

RebeccaRe

Moose Enthusiast
Messages
684
Likes
2,693
Location
Massachusetts
@RebeccaRe That article touched me to the center of my pain. I came from a home where being sick was not OK. it has been a hard road to not seeing myself the way I was taught to as a child, a lazy malingerer given to self pity. That was the view I have been trying to change all my life. Thank you for posting this article!
I thought my parents were setting a good example for me by always going to work no matter how sick or injured they were. My dad was once hit by a car while biking to work (at low speed), and after the police left ha bent his bike back into shape as best he could and continued on to work.

Having a strong work ethic is important, but as I've gotten older I realize that it can come at the cost of self care and self compassion. Sometimes it's not worth the trade off