Sh'lach: Experiences and Perspectives on Disability in the Apostolic Writings


This morning Beth Messiah was expecting to host our friend Rabbi Dr. Michael Schiffman as a special guest. Rabbi Schiffman regrettably had to cancel his plan to visit us to attend to the needs of his mother. That in and of itself may be a fitting lesson for us today. But, since Rabbi Schiffman isn’t here, you get...me. Now, as the Hillels mentioned last week, I am in the midst of completing my rabbinical studies at MJTI, and this quarter I finished the final course required for ordination by the UMJC this summer. The class was on the World of the Apostolic Writings, and I chose to write my final paper on the experiences of people with disabilities in the ancient world. As a Messianic Jewish parent of a child with significant physical disabilities, this is a particular interest of mine. Now because the entire range of experience of disability was broader than I could cover, I chose to focus in particular on physical disabilities (especially mobility impairments). And I actually touch on the story we read today from Luke. So I will share an abbreviated version of the paper with you. What can we know about the daily lives, experiences, and perceptions of people with disabilities in the Second Temple period? ...

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