CP and All

Menachem Weiss, a “special” teen with CP, reports every week to Merkaz Ha’inyanim on an angle of life that he alone can talk about


Shalom dear readers!

This week, I had a very special Shabbat with the Ezer Mizion’s Matan Club in Chispin.

Navah Giloh, the director of Ezer Mizion’s Matan Club in Petach Tikvah, called to say that  they are planning a stay in Chispin, up in the Golan Heights. She wanted to know if I was coming.

Yes. No. Yes. No. it’s always a hard decision for me. I love these get-togethers but I am always nervous about going away from. Will the setup be such that I can manage? There are so many little things I need just to do the simplest things like use the bathroom, get into bed or maneuver my wheelchair.

Everyone worked hard to persuade me and my attendant said that he was willing to come along with me, so I agreed. I was still nervous as usual but the events are so enjoyable that I took a chance. Boy, was I glad I did..

We met on Friday morning in Petach Tikvah. Instead of boarding buses, this time there were 26 jeeps waiting there for us. They loaded campers and counselors onto each jeep and so, we began the trip. We drove towards Jerusalem and got to a place called Tel Gadid, where the jeep trip actually started. The jeep took us through the Ben Shemen forest, between the trees. The ride was bumpy, going up and down the inclines, and it was really a fantastic experience! Afterwards, we got off the jeeps in the middle of the forest and enjoyed a light meal, after which we got on the buses and headed north, to the Golan Heights.

Special thanks to the jeep drivers who volunteered their time to take us for this amazing ride!

When we got to Chisipin, it was already time to get ready for Shabbat. I am happy to say that the room I received was just perfect for my needs. I immediately called my Mom to tell her that everything was fine. My friend Yonatan was my room-mate, and that also made me happy.

A while before Shabbat, we gathered outside. That’s where I discovered that the editor of the newspaper that I write for had come with part of his family to spend Shabbat with us. The daughter of my parents’ friends was also there with her husband and family. The kumsitz singer Pinny Einhorn and his Chassidic choir came to liven things up. They played guitar and sang slow Shabbat songs with the setting sun as a backdrop. It was very special. We came in for Tefillat Minchah, followed by Kabbalat Shabbat and Maariv.

We sang Kabbalat Shabbat, the whole crowd together, with some of them sitting on the floor. At the end of “Lechah Dodi,” everyone got up to dance, and Chaim the counselor took me to dance, too. Yes, the very same Chaim from the Chayim Layeled camp came here to be a counselor as well, along with Naftali, who was also a counselor in Switzerland. I felt very secure and relaxed with them nearby.

At the Shabbat meal, which was really delicious, we sang zemirot together with the singer and his choir. People said divrei Torah, and at the end, everyone sang and danced and it was very lively.

On Shabbat morning, at Tefillat Shacharit, the counselor Zvika led the beginning of the tefillah. From that point on, Pinny Einhorn and his choir took over. For Birkat Kohanim at Shacharit and Mussaf, Chaim brought me up to the duchan as well and I was very excited. Everyone who had an aliyah was accompanied to the bimah with a song. The chazzan and his choir led Tefillat Mussaf and for Kedushah, they sang each pasuk.

This Shabbat meal, too, was full of song and divrei Torah, followed again by singing.

After the meal was Tefillat Minchah, and I was called up to the Torah. I was thrilled. After the tefillah, Zvika told Torah stories, and then we went to rest for a while. In the afternoon, one of the choir members played a game with us. He put something inside a box. We didn’t know what it was. Then he asked the campers to say happy, upbeat words about the picture in the box. Whoever said a good word had a turn to open the box and discovered that inside the box was a…mirror, and the camper saw himself in the mirror. Of course, nobody gave away the secret to the next one. It was really very funny.

Seudah shlishit was very lavish. At the end of the meal, we sat in a circle, with some of us on the floor. The singer led us in beautiful slow songs. He made Havdalah outside, together with the choir. After Havdalah, there was some music and dancing.

In the morning, after the tefillah and breakfast, we got back on the buses and headed for home, very very satisfied. It was really very nice and I’m happy I agreed to go.


Until next time,

Menachem Weiss




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