Rabbi Yitzi Hurwitz, despite having been rendered immobile by ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), has persevered against the odds to impact the lives of tens of thousands around the world. Unable to speak or type, he uses his eyes to write heartfelt thoughts on the weekly Torah portion.

Over the past few weeks, many have wondered about the dearth of content being pumped out from our dear Rabbi Yitzi. In this raw and meaningful letter, Rabbi Yitzi shares his most recent struggle and his sincere thanks for all who have prayed for his continued wellbeing.

(Watch a video about the inspiring journey and perseverance of this once-in-a-generation man and learn some of his timely Torah articles.)

The past few weeks have been trying for me.

You know that I suffer from ALS which makes me unable to move most of my body, and I can't talk. What I can do is smile and move my eyes. With my eyes, I am able to control a computer that reads my eye movements. With my eyes, I communicate with my family and I write Torah articles. I am also able to use my eyes to text and email.

My joys in life are my wife and children, lifting the spirits of others, and teaching Torah through my articles.

Over the past few weeks, I couldn't get my eyes to focus on the letters I wanted to write. I don't know if it was psychological or physical, but my eyes weren't cooperating. Writing one word took as long as five minutes. I can't even begin to tell you how frustrating it was.

I tried everything from relaxing to praying. Not being able to write to my wife and children, I felt useless as a husband and father. Not being able to write Torah articles, I felt useless and irrelevant. I felt like I was in jail. My thoughts were, "what possible purpose could I have if I can't communicate?"

That is where having a good wife comes in. My wife, Dina, said to me, "It is obvious that G‑d wants something else of you and that writing is not the only way, or perhaps less writing, but more meaningful writing, from the heart, is what G‑d wants from you. On Shabbat, when you don't use the eye gaze computer, you are still there and relevant. Maybe you should think of it like Shabbat. Even if you can only see and look at people, that is meaningful to us."

"If you are alive, it means that you are relevant to G‑d, and that you make a difference."

She also organized a farbrengen in my honor, where people took on good resolutions in Torah and mitzvot, in kindness and in living life in the ways of G‑d. And people around the world have also made resolutions, said prayers and sent me well wishes.

You don't know how powerful your Torah, mitzvot, kindness, prayers, and resolutions are. I am grateful for every one of them. I am also grateful to all of you who prayed for me at holy sites.

So far, I have not gone wrong listening to Dina's advice. She lifted me up, helped me reframe my situation and brought meaning back to my life.

Thank you for all the love you've all sent my way.

Rabbi Yitzi