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Why Does G-d Create Severely Handicapped Babies?

Why Does G-d Create Severely Handicapped Babies?

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Question:

A friend gave birth to a baby with a rare condition that has rendered her severely handicapped. She is not expected to live much past her tenth birthday. I just can't understand why G-d does that. If life has a purpose, what is the purpose of such a short and sad life?

Answer:

Every birth is a gamble. A soul enters the world innocent and pure. But it may not stay that way. This world is a maze of diverging pathways, both good and evil, and the choice is ours which way we go. Once a soul enters a body, it is free and therefore vulnerable to corruption. While acts of good elevate the soul, every act of evil makes a blemish on the soul.

Some souls are so lofty, it simply isn't worth the gamble. These souls are too precious to risk being compromised by life in a body. They are too high to come down to this world. But the other option, not to be sent down at all, to never reach this world, would mean that we would miss out on meeting these holy and lofty souls and hearing their message.

So these souls do come down. But in order to be protected from the potential evils of an earthly existence, they are sent down into a body that will not compromise their holiness. They enter this world in a form that is above sin, above evil. From a purely physical perspective we call them "disabled" or "handicapped"; from the perspective of the soul they are protected. They will never sin. Their sojourn in this world is often brief, and in terms of this world may seem sad. But they have retained their purity. And they have fulfilled their mission.

These special souls remind us that true love doesn't need a reason. We often love others for what they give us -- we love our children because they are cute, smart, and high achievers; we love our spouse for the pleasure and contentment they give us; we love our parents because they care for us. This is love, but it is not pure.

When a child is born that will never achieve worldly success, cannot provide the usual source of pride for her parents, all extraneous reasons to love her fall away and what's left is the purest love that there can be. These children are lovable not because of what they do for you, and not because of what they will one day become, but simply because they are.

These pure souls remind us what love should be. Only such a pure and holy soul can elicit such a pure and holy emotion. We can only stand in awe of them, and the parents and friends who care for them. And we can only thank them all, for giving us a glimpse of what true love really means.

Aron Moss is rabbi of the Nefesh Community in Sydney, Australia, and is a frequent contributor to Chabad.org.
About the artist: Sarah Kranz has been illustrating magazines, webzines and books (including five children’s books) since graduating from the Istituto Europeo di Design, Milan, in 1996. Her clients have included The New York Times and Money Marketing Magazine of London.
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Discussion (55)
January 8, 2013
Fifteen years ago G-d entrusted me with a beautiful daughter I named her: Rebecca Rose she was born with down syndrome, at first I did not know why me! I thought I was been punish for something I did, little that I knew that she would bring so much love and compassion into my heart, I admit that it has not been easy but all through the years G-d providence and favor has carry me through.
G-d makes everything beautiful in His own time, and He is making my heart more and more beautiful with His precious gift. Rebecca Rose is my hero.
Martha Rodriguez
California
January 7, 2013
RE: Since I haven't died yet, and am 25 years old, I was wondering what the purpose is for someone who is born disabled and continues to suffer. Alisha Albemarle
The impact/affect you create in others and what the people in your life (friends, family, cargivers etc....) learn with you being a part of their lives IS your purpose. IMO. I have a severely disabled son, he is fourteen now and totally dependant for all his cares/needs. He has taught me so so much about myself and alot about others also. Many times in the early years I would often think "why us" ...but gradually the question has become "why not us" for if it wasn't these challenges we face atm, it would be something else. You are stronger than you realise. Everyone faces suffering, just in diffferent and varying degrees. and my other often used reminder... "there iare many out there who are worse off than us" even those who appear to have not a care in the world in some ways are less fortunate.
Abbie
new zealand
October 2, 2012
In Response to Atheist and Proud
I have a severely blind disabled child. His spirit has a purpose for being her. Does yours? You must live a very shallow empty life without hope if you do not believe in a greater power. Seems like you measure life only by perfection. If that is the case we all fall short and should not be here....
Angels
Metairie, La
August 26, 2012
We can stop the suffering
This is why I cannot believe in any type of god. We have scientific means of testing for these problems and aborting babies who were just not meant to be - or who will be born to mothers that used drugs or did other things to create fetal health problems.

There is no reason to allow preventable suffering. Your god is no more merciful than Hitler or Pol Pot. Take your god, please.
Atheist and Proud
Private, US
June 4, 2012
I am so crying right now in angst and love.
This was a beautiful and imaginative answer to an unanswerable state of being human in an imperfect world. Since I don't believe, personally, that G-d created evil or bad things or that He wants bad things to happen, it is easier for me to accept that the human genetic component is just not perfect. I am so sad for children born with deformities and for all of us who got handicaps later in life (me included), but we just need to focus on what we do have rather than what we don't have so we can more than survive. We can thrive. With or without breasts from cancer, with or without legs/joints that work. With or without whatever. We can put some good and happiness into each day. For me, at this time, it is a short period of time because most of the day is either trying to sleep from my insomnia, separating medicines, testing my blood, and doing whatever exercise I am capable of doing along with scientifically figuring out my food intake. I love you all. So sorry about your pains.
Karen Joyce Chaya Fradle Kleinman Bell
Riverside, CA, USA
November 21, 2011
disablity
i gave birth to my gorgeous little boy in march of 1998, he was born severly disabled, and is the light of my life, life is hard at times, but I would not change my life for anything in this world, my son cannot talk and shows me so much love in other ways. I was given my son for a reason, considering I was told I could not ever have children...
maria mayo
Gloucester, Gloucestershire
September 13, 2011
Though I am not completely handicapped but still I am not physically fit. I wear very powerful contact lenses of power -25 without which i can't see anything clear. So I feel the pain of being blind. But one thing I must say to all my friends, make your life an example. If one part of your life is dark, then try to make another part so bright,
which can brighter the dark side. With my will power and God Almighty's strength I have completed my master degree in first class and now preparing for phd. So keep faith in God and in yourself.
Anonymous
bangalore, india
December 16, 2010
Disability
I was born with a severe disability, which is life long and causes me immense pain.

This however is normal to me. The advantage is that I can automatically identify suffering in others and assisting others makes me happy.

I do not see my life as tragic. I have purpose.
Anonymous
Leeds, UK
December 7, 2010
Does GOD create severly handicapped babies?
Consider the scripture from God's own words at Psalms 127:3 "... sons are an inheritance from the Lord, and the fruit of the womb is his reward". Ask yourself, would a loving God who created us in His image gave as a reward a handicapped baby as a reward? (Gen. 1: 26-28) Ask another question: Why are there handicapped persons in the world? The answer lies in Gods word the bible. This started in the very beginning with the first man & woman that disobeyed Gods law of obedience. If they had not disobeyed, we would have been perfect today and not have handicapped persons or anyone suffering with ailments.
Anonymous
Columbia, SC
August 31, 2010
Disabled in later life
I've become disabled over the last 15 years. When I'm out of the house, I must use a wheelchair as people panic when they see someone fall. But I have never asked "Why me?" I KNOW why! I smoked, ate improperly and broke every good health rule in the book. My question is WHY NOT ME?
I have zero self-pity; I do pity some folks, but not me. Following a massive stroke I was repeatedly told I'd never walk, talk or work again. "I" knew better and returned to work six months to the day I had the stroke.
Despite it all, I'm HAPPY most of the time because after I say modeh and shema in the morning I say out loud, "I want to have a great day and help others have one too."
Happiness is between the ears. My new doctor told me once, "You are one of the sickest people I know of, but you're also one of the happiest people I know." I'm heading to the hospital sometime this week for carotid artery surgery and the surgeon can't understand why I'm not worried. What? ME WORRY?
Beverly Kurtin
Hurst, TX
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