It’s been 10 months since we opened our new shul. Nestled amid low rise buildings and beautiful natural settings, our shul sits humbly on a quiet street welcoming its congregants. On Shabbat mornings, my daughter and I walk to synagogue, at an unhurried pace, which allows her to absorb the environment around her.

Our friendMy daughter responds enthusiastically to Liron Liron joins us at shul and chats with my daughter. With sincere interest, she asks her about her week. With strained speech—often misunderstood by unfamiliar listeners—my daughter responds enthusiastically to Liron as she enjoys the conversation.

At the end of the prayer service, when all of the children are called up to the bimah to sing “Ain Keloheinu,” my daughter joins them. She sings a few octaves higher than the rest of the congregation. Her words are so sweet that I am sure that only the angels can understand them.

Liron turns to my daughter and smiles warmly, singing softly along with her.

While we prepare platters of food in the kitchen for the Kiddush, Liron hands my daughter a bowl of crackers or a stack of napkins to bring to the table. After everyone fills his or her plate at the buffet table and finds a seat, Liron points to an empty chair next to her, inviting my daughter to sit down.

The subtle interactions between Liron and my daughter have a profound effect on me. I am moved by how Liron effortlessly includes my daughter in the Shabbat shul experience. There are no barriers or awkwardness, no patronizing or judgment. The human connection between Liron and my daughter exists regardless of differences on the surface.

I share my observations with Liron. She recounts that as a child, she shied away from people with disabilities and often felt uncomfortable in their presence. But as a young adult living in Israel, she volunteered at a rehabilitation therapy center. The center supported people with disabilities of all ages through therapy with trained dogs and horses. Liron noticed that when the animals and people interacted, the animals did not differentiate from person to person;She shied away from people with disabilities they connected with each one, regardless of ability. There were no barriers or limitations in their eyes.

The animals taught Liron that inclusion is to see the spirit of each human being. Liron taught me that when we see people with disabilities from our limited perspectives, we have separated ourselves from them. When we treat people with disabilities the way Liron treats my daughter—effortlessly and without judgment—that is when we, too, can see the spirit of each individual human.