Issue #23 – Grounds for Divorce

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Zelig twirled his left payo as he watched a fly circle the wall sconce. His mind was going in circles too. How had he come to this? When had it all started? Years back, when he had re-embraced Yiddishkeit and mentschlichkeit he vowed to himself that one day he would write a book titled ‘Back From the Abyss’. Right now he’d change the title to ‘Back To the Abyss’.

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Issue #23 – Shimmi Dunner z’l

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Shimmi!! Shimmi Dunner!! This is a farewell to one of London’s most beloved characters and it is a dedication to Shimmi’s most devoted and admired parents – Rav z’tl and Rebbetzin Dunner a’h.
Shimmi was an individual with Down syndrome, who was niftar on Rosh Chodesh Sivan at the ripe old age of 71. Although age 71 is generally not considered a ”ripe old age”, in reference to those with Down syndrome 71 is generally considered record-breaking.

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Issue #22 – Discipline: A Mom’s Perspective

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I know, I know… It’s no longer politically correct to use the term ‘discipline’ when relating to individuals with special needs. Truthfully, the previous informative essays and articles in this feature, leading up to mine, all reaffirm that – our children with special needs will act out inappropriately when they are misunderstood and when they cannot communicate their needs, proving that mis-communication, rather than misbehavior is the source of challenge.

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Issue #22 – Gratitude

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I was just a small first grader when my sister was born. I was proud of my new uniform with its freshly pressed shirt and sharply pleated jumper. A few months of school didn’t take away that feeling as I walked through the halls of Bais Chana each day. No less was my feeling of pride when I heard that my mother had a baby. I was the big sister! Not only was I a big first grader who could help a lot, I was also the baby’s only sister among my siblings – all boys.

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Issue #22 – Our Son’s Special Bar Mitzvah

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If one day could encapsulate the highs and lows of raising a child with Down syndrome, the day our son, Yehuda, was called to the Torah as a bar mitzvah would be that day.
My wife and I thought it would be a good challenge for Yehuda to not only have an aliyah and recite the blessings over the Torah, but to actually read from the Torah, like most of the “regular” boys do to celebrate their Bar Mitzvah.

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