My name is Dina Hurwitz. I am from Los Angeles California. This is me lighting menorah with my husband Yitzi Hurwitz. My husband suffers from ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. He has lost function of 95% of his body. He cannot walk. He cannot speak. He is only able to communicate with the use of specialized adaptive equipment.
While Yitzi, relies on others for his personal and physical needs, others often rely on Yitzi, for their spiritual needs. Yitzi the teacher still teaches; he learns with others every day. Yitzi, my husband of nearly twenty years. Yitzi, the man who remembers every face he sees. And who shares so much of himself despite trying circumstances.
It was just two years ago, that I watched Yitzi prepare his menorah, shine it, set it up, and light the Shamesh. Suddenly he turned to me in confusion, now what? He could no longer speak, and no longer make the blessings.
He has not spoken a single word in two years. Our son says the blessing for him. We share our mitzvah with him; not just in spirit; not just in the same room, but with the same movement, the same hand. The same words.
Twenty years ago, Yitzi and I decided to spend our life devoted to spreading light. Yitzi is still spreading light. Despite the difficult reality, our mission hasn’t changed.
I ask you to light the Menorah and on this night have in your mind all those who cannot light on their own; for themselves, including Yitzi.
And we share the light, not only inward with each other, but with the world. The world that has not forgotten us. We are so lucky to be a part of this world that does not leave us alone.