Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Special Needs, Special Gifts

Barbara Bensoussan

The message of Shavuos — “naaseh v’nishma —we’re ready to do Your Will, whatever it may be” — wasn’t an intellectual concept in the Reisman home. It was an axiom the family lived by. Even though four out of the eleven children were developmentally disabled, there was no hashkafic angst, no bitt erness or self-pity. Never questioning Hashem’s decisions, the Reismans built a happy home with a bedrock of bitachon, creating stability amid disability.

Monday, May 13, 2013

heart in handSpeeches at fundraising dinners aren’t usually noted for riveting their audiences, most of whom are busy digging into the prime rib and stifling yawns. But this year’s speech at the annual dinner for OHEL Children’s Home and Family Services inNew York Citywas an exception: Not only did it captivate the crowd, it left both speaker and listeners choked with tears.

For the first time, Hinda Mizrahi related in public the story of her parents — Rabbi Yaakov Reisman, rav of Agudath Israel of Long Island, and Rebbetzin Chasya, the daughter of Rav Mordechai Gifter ztz”l — and how they raised a large family that included four sons with developmental disabilities.

“I never imagined my speech would get the kind of response it did,” says Hinda, who lives in Long Beach, New Yorkwith her husband and son. “So many people were affected — yeshivish people, chassidic people, non-frum people, non-Jewish people. “I came away from the speech feeling like my whole life — everything I’ve experienced, everything I’ve been through — was just for this moment. I felt I had a message to give, and that I was meant to give it at that very moment.”


 To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha. To sign up for a weekly subscription click here.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

No Misunderstandings
Rabbi Moshe Grylak Hashem revealed the secret of a balanced life
What Was the Court’s Rush?
Yonoson Rosenblum The Democratic Party’s descent into madness
Survey? Oy Vey
Eytan Kobre How could YAFFED promote such a farce?
Filling the Void
Rabbi Henoch Plotnik Jewish leaders don’t need to be declared or coronated
Top 5 Ways We Remember Our Rebbeim (and we love them for it!)
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin An ode to these pivotal people in my life
Hanging On in Newark
Rabbi Nosson Scherman Rabbi Nosson Scherman remembers the shul of his youth
A Fine Kettle of Fish
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman The “minor” chasadim are often the most meaningful
The Next Hill
Jacob L. Freedman The look on Malachi’s face nearly broke my heart
Tradition and Modern Meet in One Long Dance
Riki Goldstein Fusing tradition and modernity comes naturally to him
A Playlist for Shabbos
Riki Goldstein What does Moshy Kraus sing at the Shabbos table?
With Flying Colors
Riki Goldstein My 15 seconds of fame on the Carnegie Hall stage
Full Faith
Faigy Peritzman With emunah, everyone’s obligation is the same
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Silence isn’t always golden
The Only One
With Rav Moshe Wolfson, written by Baila Vorhand Within every Jew is the flame of instinctive emunah