Luckiest Man on the Face of the Earth

Shalom Aleichem!

Growing up, baseball was my favorite sport. Playing, watching, talking about it, collecting cards, you name it. I was also interested in the history of the game, and the old-time greats, such as Babe Ruth, Stan Musial, Hank Greenberg and Lou Gehrig. Gehrig was of particular interest, perhaps not as much for his unbreakable hitting streak, but for his July 4th, 1939, retirement speech in Yankee Stadium.lou-gehrig

While I was not a Yankees fan, it is hard not to be moved by his heartfelt words spoken that day. Recently diagnosed with ALS — now commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease — Gehrig stood on the baseball diamond, surrounded by former teammates and a stadium full of fans, and declared the iconic words, “I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”

What a perspective.

My colleague from Chabad of Temecula, California, Rabbi Yitzi Hurwitz, was recently diagnosed with ALS. Rabbi Hurwitz is 41 years old and is married with seven children.

There is no known cure for Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

I read an article which brought me to tears, and decided to donate to the fund established to assist his family in this time of need. I gave more than I felt I was able to give; how could I not?

A short while later, I received a thank you letter in the mail. I’m someone who sends out thank you letters for donations sent to our Chabad House, so I’m always curious to see what others write.

The fund is administered by five of Rabbi Hurwitz’s friends and colleagues in California. This paragraph is what struck me:

“We have committed ourselves to covering the mounting medical costs associated with various exploratory treatments at leading hospitals across the nation. We are also covering the Hurwitz family’s financial burdens during this trying time in order to allow them to spen this critical time together without other worries.”

Yitzi Hurwitz
Talk about the luckiest man on the face of the earth.

I’ve never met or spoken to Rabbi Hurwitz, but the show of support is a testimony to what he must mean to other people. Keep in mind, the Rabbis who have committed to covering the family’s financial expenses are already responsible for the budgets of each of their respective Chabad centers. Please consider joining me in supporting the Hurwitz family by donating at

Friends, this inspires me. Does it inspire you? People helping people. While we sometimes sit and wonder, “why don’t the philanthropists do more?” or “who will help?”, others waste no time, and step up to the plate themselves.