Students at Donna Klein Jewish Academy in Boca Raton, Florida, share why they are thankful to God for the many gifts in their lives.
By Talia Israelian:
Thank you God for letting me wake up in the morning. Thank you for letting me be happy and healthy each day. Thank you for blessing me with a happy family that cares about me. Thank you for providing me with food, water, and shelter. Thank you for allowing me to have a good education. Thank you for keeping me alive everyday. Thank you God!!!
By Jake Greenfield:
Throughout my life I have seen that God has granted me many gifts and talents. With these gifts, I have achieved. When I am in trouble, everything turns out fine. When an operation is going on with someone in my family, they are fine. When someone watches me when my mom and dad are away, I am okay. All these things happen because of God. If I didn’t have God by my side, something bad would happen.
Last week my mom and dad went on a vacation. For three days, I stayed with my grandma and grandpa. The first day we went to school and came back safely. The second day we also went to school and we also came back safely. The third day we went to the movies where someone could take me. But there too, I came back safely. The next day my mom and dad came back to our house safely. It was all because of God. This was one time I saw God working behind the scenes to help my family. God helps us stay safe.
By Emily Lipson:
We all know God is behind us all the time. God never goes away. Sometimes we think that some things are coincidental. They are not. It was God’s choice. Some people think that life would be great if it would be perfect. I sometimes think that too. But if everything was perfect, I also believe, it would be too good to be true. No one, or no thing, is perfect. This is one reason why we have God. God makes us see that our life is good, even if it isn’t perfect.
By Aaron Kupin:
I believe that God has a plan for everyone in the world. However, we may not always know or understand what those plans are. I think God’s plan for me involves my relationship with my autistic brother, David. He can barely talk, and do many of the things that regular people can do. God has provided my family with a challenge to take care of my brother. Having an autistic brother has its advantages and disadvantages.
Sometimes my brother may try to hurt someone, insist on having something a million times, or scream and cry for a while. I can really lose my patience and get very upset at him for doing something bad. Every time we get a bad report from his teachers, it is very hard to try and have hope. Sometimes my dad, mom, and I lose faith in trying to help him every day. It is very easy to give up, and not take good care of him anymore.
With some people, life is very easy and great for them, since they don’t have to encounter the challenges like my family has to face. I feel very good about myself. I am special and unique since I have to take care of David.
There are times when David can be very cheerful, have a bright smile on his face, and do fantastic in school. On those days, I feel very proud and happy for him. I like to hear him laugh. Almost every day, I can see that he is getting one step further to becoming a normal person. Sometimes he runs with me and learns something new. He does not get as aggravated as he used to. He is definitely making progress. I would probably enjoy having a regular brother, but I can appreciate having a special and unique brother like David.
Now, let’s look at this question: Why did God choose to place David in our family? One of my thoughts is that God may have just put all the families in a box that God thought could handle an autistic person, and just picked one out randomly. Maybe God chose our family because God thought that we could take care of a handicapped person. As I said before, God gave us the challenge of having to deal with an autistic boy. Whether he has a terrible or a fabulous day, you can see that God has a plan for David. One day the plan will have an ending, just as it had a beginning. But whether the ending is good or bad for David, I will still love and appreciate the fact that he is my brother.