By Rivka Perlman

September 22, 2013

Who is Actually Disabled?


Hanging Succah decorations

Hanging Succah decorations


This week in the Jewish calender it’s the holiday of Succos – a time where we build something akin to  a hut and spend a week  there, (having our meas there, often sleeping there and generally spending time in it’s holy walls)  both grounding our inspiration from the High Holidays while simultaneously creating a cocoon of spirituality to nurture us for the upcoming year. We call it a Honeymoon with G-d.

This Succos we’ve had amazing meals, guests, and songs. At one meal we shared stories. Just before dessert, our friend Phil said “Did I ever tell you the story of my friend Matthew?”


you are my inspirationMathew was an only child and so he was like a third sibling to me and my brother. Our moms were friends and we grew up together. Mathew is shorter than average – although in his 20’s he’s only 4′ 2″. He’s had multiple surgeries and struggles and he’s the most incredible person I know. When  I needed to write down a list of people in my life who affected me, my friend Matt was on the top of the list.

Matt is a huge Ravens fan, and one day last year, as it neared the Superbowl season Matt  found himself up earlier then usual.Matt speaks

Spontaneously,in a generous stroke,  he penned a letter to the Ravens. It was a letter of encouragement where he shared his story and his strength. He sent it off to the standard contact info that was on the Raven’s site.

Matt and ESPNHe had no idea what would become of it – he just wanted to put out a good word. Well, imagine his surprise when he got an email back from  the head of the Ravens! The coach said he had read the letter to all the players and it gave them  a tremendous boost. Next he received comments from various players. He was the hero of his heroes!

Matt was invited to visit the players and to speak his great words directly to them – and the Ravens won the Superbowl! I’m not saying anything, but the Ravens continued to win from then on!

Recently, just about a month ago Matt got signed with Leading Authorities. They’re a speaking agency that’s comprised of some of the TOP speakers today (among them Mitt Romney – to give you an idea). [I think that’s his audition in the video]


We’re only limited by the belief that we have in ourselves.

Every man, woman and child is a the expert on their life. And in that expertise we each have a unique wisdom to share .

Mattew Jeffers

You always win by giving. Just keep on giving. Keep putting good words and deeds out there.

Being yourself is enough. Stop comparing yourself to others. The exact person the world needs is YOU.

The Only Disability is a Bad Attitude!

Can you share with me? What did this story and/or  speech mean to you?

 You can hear more of Matt ( a nice Jewish boy!) here.


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