In Judaism, we have a blessing for everything — which is great because the sages told us to say 100 blessings every day. Isn’t it wonderful to feel gratitude 100 times a day? There is a wonderful blessing that thanks G-d for making people different:
Baruch atah Adonai elohaynu melech ha’olam mishaneh ha’briyot. (Blessed are You, O Lord, our G-d, King of the Universe, who makes people different.)
We are supposed to say this blessing when we see someone who looks different and when we see someone who is disabled; it gives us an opportunity not only to be thankful for what we have, but thankful that we can know people who look at the world differently.
On Sunday, May 2 at 2 p.m. in the Zale Auditorium for only $5 a ticket, you can see an unusual performance of “Fiddler on the Roof.” Twenty-six adults with developmental delays are the actors in this special production. In addition, we have teen volunteers who have been working with us since January. This will be our 10th year of performance and we have grown in the number of actors and in the types of plays that we do.
So why should you come and bring your children? The excitement and joy shown by each of our performers makes this a very special event. As you sit and watch the struggles and accomplishments, the important Jewish concept of “b’tzelem Elohim — being created in G-d’s image” comes alive. We recognize that each of us brings something special to the world and we are truly fortunate that we can be in a community with so many different people.
Laura Seymour is director of camping services and Jewish life and learning at the Jewish Community Center of Dallas.