Some 20 years ago I visited an institution for disabled children with specal needs in Ein Kerem, only a stone throw from Yad Vashem.in Jerusalem. The institution is funded by the Roman Catholic Church and it is run by nuns. There are both Jewish and Arab children.and the children live there, it is their home and some spent all their lives there. It literally broke my heart to learn from the nuns that the Jewish parents "dump" their disabled children there and then "forget" them there and never visit them,but that the Arab parents visit their children regularly and even give from their means to the institution to provide for the children's needs. One Arab father came to see his son every day, the nuns told to me, for 18 years he had faithfully come to see his 18 year old son,who could not communicate with him except with his eyes,his warm gaze and most ravishing smile.- In my opinion what the Jews could learn from the Arabs is their kind and accepting attitude to the disabled people. At this the Arabs are examplary,better than the Jews. To the Jews, people with physical and other disabilities are still difficult to face and to accept and to include and let be visible in the society, though positive changes to this direction have been taken in Israel in the recent years. Once I took care of an orthodox Jewish girl, who had a severe handicap and she asked me what I thought G-D had punished her prents for by giving them a handicapped child? I replied to her that G-D is not that cruel that He 'd give an innocent child a disabilty in order to punish the parents through it. "I believe", I explained to her that "there are people with disabilities among us so that we 'd not stop being humane and practising loving kindness,bc G-D loves humaneness": G-D does not like perfection, bc in perfectionism there is a lot of evil and perfectionism distances us from G-D.. It is G-D, who has commanded us to "feed the hungry,to clothe the naked,to visit the sick" , in other words: to love our fellowman especially the weakest and the neediest among us. That is the whole Torah.
Turkey war planes hit Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq (AP)
from the article: Stephen Hawking boycotts Israeli academic conference, Guardian reports