The wheelchair-bound broaden horizons through Ezer Mizion
By Menachem Weiss
PETACH TIKVAH, Israel — I have a good imagination. Sometimes I read about something and I can actually imagine that I am there, like the time I read about some kids spending the day at the beach. I could almost feel the waves and smell the air even though I haven’t been to the beach since I was a tiny child. I don’t get to go to too many places besides school. It’s really hard for my parents to take me. You see, I have cerebral palsy. I can’t walk.
Books are great. They ‘take’ me all over but even my imagination—and I have a really good one—can’t come anywhere near to the real thing. And, guess what? I got the real thing! It was all thanks to Ezer Mizion. They have a club for those of us with CP. It’s called Matan Club and every year they take us on a special trip. This year we went to Shavei Zion, a place on the seaside. Usually when I am on a bus, I’m crowded and can’t see out the window. Ezer Mizion got us a wheelchair bus and each one of us had plenty of space and could enjoy the ride and watch the scenery.
Boy, was I excited when I finally saw the water. I would have loved to jump out of the bus and run down the sand to slide into the water but…well, I can’t do any of those things. I can’t jump or run or slide. But I’m very lucky. I have a great attendant. He brought me all the way down to the water and then lowered me out of my wheelchair onto the sand. I can’t even begin to describe what that felt like.
Then we were brought to the hotel which was set up perfectly for the handicapped. We got ready for Shabbat. The prayers were full of song; it was very beautiful and moving. There was a lot of singing at the Shabbat meals, too, as well as divrei Torah with learning groups after the morning meal. For me, Mincha was the best. I got called up to the Torah. Can you imagine what that felt like? Receiving an aliyah! Being like everyone else, like a regular Jew! Even the ‘walk’ around the beach after Mincha didn’t rival that aliyah.
Sunday was fantastic. We received hats and tee-shirts as a gift and off we went on an ATV. I had never been on one of those before. On Monday, we went to an Air Force Camp in Ramat David. They took us to the runway. We were right there next to the roar of those fighter planes as they took off. That was some experience.
I want to thank every single person atEzer Mizionwho helped to put together this terrific trip, especially my attendant who made it especially wonderful for me.
Editor’s Note: Menachem Weiss, 28, turns on the computer himself and with his two good fingers slowly but surely types. This is also his means of communication as his speech is not so clear. He began writing a few years ago after his group was taken to visit a matzah bakery. Menachem wrote a thank you letter telling him how much he enjoyed the experience. He was complimented profusely on his writing style and ability. This empowered him to send his writing to a newspaper for publishing. Many people write to him. The feedback he gets is amazing.
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