What is Judaism’s approach toward children with special
Is there a place for them in Judaism’s rich mosaic?
There is no chapter in the
thick tomes of the Talmud that spells
out an approach to a child with unique abilities. In fact, until several
decades ago, the Jewish community was largely silent on the topic. Te
answers were far from clear.
In 1979, a social worker by the
name of Professor Robert Wilkes
turned to the Lubavitcher Rebbe for answers to these questions. In a
series of letters, the Rebbe articulated a revolutionary new approach,
based on some of Judaism’s foundational concepts. Astonished by
the Rebbe’s clear-cut views and inspired to action, Professor Wilkes
began to help shift the Jewish community’s paradigm on the matter.
In the decades since, these “hidden souls” have come out of the
shadows, as the Rebbe’s approach is embraced by more communities
and organizations around the world. This is still a work in progress, but
great strides have been made.
We’re pleased to share a glimpse into these interactions
as told by Dr. Wilkes himself.
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