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Rabbi Rebecca L. Dubowe


As I remember them growing up, our family’s yom tov (holiday) celebrations looked like this: With the dining room table covered in a beautiful white tablecloth, elegant china and silverware, and brightly polished candle sticks and Kiddush cups, it was ready for the matzah ball soup, the round, sweet, freshly-baked challah, honey chicken, and the rest of the festive meal. My brother and I, busy blowing our toy shofars, looked forward to dipping our apples in honey.

Once our parents arrived home, having rushed from work, we all gathered around the table, reciting the blessings to...

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Generally speaking, I'm not easily offended - but I did have a problem with this blessing the first time I stumbled upon it:

Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu, melech haolam, meshaneh ha briot. Blessed be the One who created us differently.

How dare the Talmudic rabbis direct others to offer a blessing because I am different?

During Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month, I consider this blessing. I now look beyond what seems like a judgment call toward others and embrace what I believe to be the rabbis’ intent in including it as part of our Jewish laws and...

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