How do you tell 7 children that the father they adore, their beloved, invincible family superhero, has a degenerative disease that is turning ordinary functions like speaking, chewing or swallowing, into an exhausting effort?
Tall and trim, with broad shoulders and a wide smile, Yitzi Hurwitz, a 41 year-old Chabad rabbi, was nursing big plans for his community in Temecula when he began having trouble speaking. It took months of tests to rule out other possibilities before a diagnosis of ALS was confirmed. Also known as Lou Gherig’s disease, ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.
Keeping positive in the face of his diagnosis is a test of his faith, Yitzi said. “I have always taught others that everything G-d does is for the good although we don’t always see it openly. So now, when this happened to me, I have to live with this same belief and deepen my faith, so that it is not just a matter of words.”
The included music video showcases Yitzi’s optimism, and features his voice at the begining and end of the video as Jewish music artists perform the song he composed in 2008.
How you can help
Rabbi Hurwitz’s family has been invited to attend the KMR Pesach program in Scottsdale, AZ. This trip can give the family the emotional boost they need to get through another year while they watch their father’s condition detirorate.
To make the 450 mile journey, Yitzy needs an ambulance to take him to and from the airport, and his 500+ pound wheelchair modified to fit on the plane. Please help us raise the funds needed to allow Rabbi Hurwitz to spend a much needed Pesach vacation with his family.
This campaign is being organized by Misaskim LA on behalf of the Hurwitz family.