In Brooklyn, New York, Chush is a school that caters to learning disabled
children. Some children remain in Chush for their entire school career,
while others can be main-streamed into conventional schools.
At a Chush fund-raising dinner, the father of a Chush child delivered a
speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended.
After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he cried out, "Where is
the perfection in my son Shaya? Everything God does is done with perfection.
But my child cannot understand things as other children do. My child cannot
remember facts and figures as other children do. Where is
The audience was shocked by the question, pained by the father’s anguish and
stilled by the
piercing query. "I believe," the father answered, "that when God brings a
child like this into the world, the perfection that he seeks is in the way
people react to this child." He then told the following story about his son
One afternoon, Shaya and his father walked past a park where some boys Shaya
knew were playing baseball. Shaya asked, "Do you think they will let me
play?" Shaya’s father knew that his son was
not at all athletic and that most boys would not want him on their team. But
Shaya’s father understood that if his son was chosen to play it would give
him a comfortable sense of belonging.
Shaya’s father approached one of the boys in the field and asked if Shaya
could play. The boy looked around for guidance from his team-mates. Getting
none, he took matters into his own hands and said "We are losing by six runs
and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and
we’ll try to put him up to bat in the ninth inning."
Shaya’s father was ecstatic as Shaya smiled broadly. Shaya was told to put
on a glove and go out to play short centre field. In the bottom of the
eighth inning, Shaya’s team scored a few
runs but was still behind by three. In the bottom of the ninth inning,
Shaya’s team scored again and now with two outs and the bases loaded with
the potential winning run on base. Shaya was scheduled to be up.
Would the team actually let Shaya bat at this juncture and give away their
chance to win the game? Surprisingly, Shaya was given the bat. Everyone knew
that it was all but impossible because Shaya didn’t even know how to hold
the bat properly, let alone hit with it. However as Shaya stepped up to the
plate, the pitcher moved a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shaya
should at least be able to make contact.
The first pitch came and Shaya swung clumsily and missed. One of Shaya’s
team mates came up to Shaya and together they held the bat and faced the
pitcher waiting for the next pitch. The pitcher again took a few steps
forward to toss the ball softly toward Shaya. As the pitch
came in, Shaya and his team-mate swung at the ball and together they hit a
slow ground ball to the pitcher.
The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could easily have thrown the
ball to the first baseman. Shaya would have been out and that would have
ended the game. Instead, the pitcher took
the ball and threw it on a high arc to right field, far beyond reach of the
first baseman. Everyone started yelling, "Shaya, run to first. Run to
Never in his life had Shaya run to first. He scampered down the baseline
wide-eyed and startled. By the time he reached first base, the right fielder
had the ball. He could have thrown the ball to the second baseman who would
tag out Shaya, who was still running. But the right fielder
understood what the pitcher’s intentions were, so he threw the ball high and
far over the Third baseman’s head. Everyone yelled, "Run to second, run to
second." Shaya ran towards second base
as the runners ahead of him deliriously circled the bases towards home. As
Shaya reached second base, the opposing short stop ran to him, turned him in
the direction of third base and shouted,
"Run to third." As Shaya rounded third, the boys from both teams ran behind
him screaming, "Shaya run home." Shaya ran home, stepped on home plate and
all 18 boys lifted him on their shoulders and made him the hero, as he had
just hit a "grand slam" and won the game for his team.
"That day," said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face,
"those 18 boys reached their level of God’s perfection."