The Power of Perseverance:
The Story of Rabbi Yehuda Simes
Nobody asked me. Nobody! I had not been in a massive auditorium listening to an authoritative voice challenging the crowd: "We are looking for volunteers. Who here would like to be the wife of a quadriplegic?" I did not hop up and down, making the emphatic ooo-ooo-ooo sound that my students emit when they are eager to sign up for a job or a privilege. I did not call out, "Pick me! Pick me! Please! Pick me!"
I did not. Or so I thought.
When a catastrophic accident completely altered Rabbi Yehuda Simes's physical existence, he was forced to rediscover his true essence, to internalize the idea that his body was merely a cloak for his soul, which remained forever whole despite being housed in so broken a body.
His wife Shaindel, for her part, was forced overnight to become her husband's caretaker, cheerleader, patient advocate, and support system. Together the heroic couple forged ahead, as Rabbi Simes showed the world what it means to LIVE al kiddush Hashem, even in the most difficult circumstances.
Rabbi Simes was the force who challenged every "I can't" in existence. In spite of his countless limitations after the accident, he went right on with serving Hashem, albeit a bit differently than beforehand. Whereas he had always been a teacher, now the world became his classroom, as he utilized his situation to amplify his messages and vastly extend his sphere of influence. Painstakingly typing letter by letter--first with voice activation, and then, when he lost his speaking capabilities, with an eye-movement detector--Rabbi Simes began to share with his many students and admirers his victories, setbacks, and determination to constantly find purpose in every moment of his life, even as a quadriplegic.
The Rolling Rabbi is the gripping and inspiring account of Rabbi Yehuda Simes's remarkable journey, as seen from the perspective of Shaindel Simes, while peppered with many of Rabbi Simes's own writings. Filled with laughs and tears, as well as the many unusual--and oftentimes hair-raising!--occurrences that made up Rabbi Simes's day-to-day life, this is a book that will forever change your view of the true capabilities that exist in each one of us.
By Shaindel Simes