Little Giant Man

How a few sincere, kind words can leave an indelible impression on someone else.

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Comments (7)

(5) Anonymous, September 24, 2017 1:07 PM

Doing what we can with what we have

Some people are born wealthy, brilliant and privileged. When they grow up they simply throw these gifts away. Other people have challenges, as demonstrated by the man in the story. Frankly, I have more respect for him. He is working with what he has been given.

(4) Anonymous, February 1, 2016 9:48 PM

Some people's disability includes unbelievable levels of physical pain at times, where all they can hope to do is choose to live another day. Not all physical pain can be treated with pain killers. In other words sometimes no pain killers are effective. And one really can't judge what another can or can not do until you've experienced what they have. That being said, of course, one should always try to uplift anothers spirit; it can make such a difference. When I was pregnant the first time, I was so scared of delivery. My father told me that I am stronger than I think. (He rarely gave compliments, so I took this as possibly quite true, if he said so.) When it came time to deliver my baby, it seemed like everything that could go wrong did, Eclampsia and blood in the urine, fetal distress, loosing more than half my blood, etc., and it was a life or death situation for both me and my baby. The doctor refused to do an emergency c-section or give me any pain killer, then or earlier. He said labor is suppose to hurt. (He was not my planned doctor, but the one on call that day.) Over a day of labor later, I was too weak to move, and can't begin to describe the pain. All I could do was say to myself, over and over, my father's words, that "I am stronger than I think." (It was confirmed from other doctors that the way my situation was handled was dangerous under the situation and just made everything worse.) But my point is, that my father's belief in me, and his words, over and over in my mind is the only thing (and G... of course) that helped me get through that. Both baby and I came out of it pretty good, despite that doctors actions and lack of. Sometimes words can save lives.

(3) Jewish Mom, January 18, 2016 10:36 AM

Poster #1, I hear your point. That said, I don't know if Rabbi Gold used Rabbi Geldzaler's exact words.
Due to societal stigma, the capabilities of people with handicaps are far too often underestimated in ALL areas, not just as a possible limitation in one (or more) sphere(s). Clearly, as you write, people with handicaps should not be viewed differently. But being too often they are, the sad result is that some people with handicaps end of viewing themselves differently; this can stunt their natural drive to achieve and cause them to withdraw from society. They might choose to collect disability rather than work for a living and contribute to a society that views them as less capable. It takes healthy self-confidence to reject rejection and be productive. I believe that is Rabbi Geldzaler's message - not to accept limitations in any area as an excuse to wallow in self pity but rather, go out there and do whatever you are capable of doing. And he found in Vinny the Giant Man, a source of inspiration in that regard, to handle challenge with courage and live a full life. You're poor? Difficult family situation? Not the brainiest in the class? Some type of handicap, perceived or otherwise? Don't look for excuses! Go out there and give it your best - you have lots to give! Hashem orchestrated that picture of Rabbi Gedzaler being in the front seat of the car on moving day, Chana Malka being low on gas and stopping at that particular gas station with Vinny in attendance and Vinny noticing the picture. It's very clearly that Hashem wants this message circulating: doing our best with what we've been giving, using our power of speech to offer kind words that build and inspire those around us and to be a source of Kiddush Hashem, sanctifying G-d's name and spreading His light in our everyday encounters.
So thank you, Rabbi Geldzaler z"l, Chana Malka and Vinny - and thanks to Rabbi Gold for bring the message to so many people!

Jewish Mom, January 18, 2016 1:12 PM

A quote from Dafna Meir's funeral

In reference to the point I made in the above post, I saw a very relevant quote from Natan Meir's eulogy for his beloved wife Dafna, a devoted wife, mother and nurse, who was brutally murdered in her own home in Otniel yesterday, in front of 3 of her children: "My Dafna is one in a million," he went on. "One in a million, who grew up in a troubled home and managed to rebuild herself and give kindness back to the world."
Exactly my point: many people don't tap into their inner resources to overcome challenges and it is correct to laud those who do and hold them up as success paradigms to give strength to others. We are not blaming those who don't - especially, as I pointed out, because society often places an additional burden of unfair stigma. There was no intent to put down people with handicaps, but only to praise those who choose not to define themselves by that one aspect of their being but rather, choose see themselves as the valuable members of society that they truly are and contribute their unique gifts to make the world a better place.

(2) Bracha Goetz, January 17, 2016 10:01 PM


Yisroel, January 20, 2016 5:40 AM

Jewish mom: Well said!

That's what I gleaned from the story as well.

(1) Anonymous, January 17, 2016 6:40 PM

Different perspective

This is a very touching story but I'd like to add a different perspective. It is wrong to say that someone with a disability has every right to play victim and choose to stay home all day. People with disabilities are human beings just like everyone else and do not need to be viewed differently. There is no reason that people with disabilities should be home bound; they are just as capable as anyone else of going out, working, and leading fulfiling lives. It is important to keep this in mind when speaking to people with disabilities.


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