Praying with Lior…

I feel the urge to begin by saying that the name Lior means “my light.”  I decided to finally watch this documentary today, it’s been around awhile, I cried so hard at parts that I had to hit pause and blow my nose.  I didn’t cry because Lior has Down Syndrome, I cried because of the amount love in his family.  Lior who tries his best to always be positive refers to it as, Up-Syndrome. There were a few scenes that really got to me, at the start of the documentary Lior and his mother are singing  Jewish praise songs to “HaShem” together.  Then you hear her expressing that she hopes to live long enough to see his Bar Mitzvah because she is dying of cancer. The thought of a mother needing to be brave enough to say goodbye to her child always tears me up.  But it was the love of his brother that really got to me.  He said he will never go away to college because it would be too difficult for him to be away from his brother.  It was the loving, unapologetic, sincere way that he admitted it and said, I know the rest of my life will be wherever Lior is.  Later, you see this older brother preparing for the prom and Lior stops playing his video game to encourage him, adjust his tie, tell him he loves him, fix his hair, and then lovingly kiss the palms of his hands and bless his evening.  There are people with the right amount of chromosomes that never learn to express love toward a sibling this way.  His love toward his brother is on another level.(I have no word beyond moving..) Toward the end of the movie you see Liors brother in tears at Lior’s Bar Mitzvah overcome by love and affection for his brothers coming of age ceremony.  It’s evident they had a wonderful mother, even if it was only for a short time, she would be very proud.  At one point in the documentary they interview a female member of their Jewish community and she says in effect, “Well, I mean this child has grown up with peoples faces lighting up when he prayed. So, I think if he had been born say, into a family that really loved singing Christmas carols, I’m sure he would be singing those instead of the prayers.”  Aside from wanting to slap her, I DON’T agree with her.  Nobody knows a child better than it’s mother.  Liors mother saw something special in him that responded to Jewish prayer over say, “The wheels on the bus go round and round…” and this is the gift she inspired in him.




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