Film Thoughts: Praying with Lior

On Holy Saturday, I saw a film recommended, oh, golly, somewhere out there in the Blogosphere. It’s called Praying with Lior, and the short description is that it’s a documentary about a boy with Downs Syndrome and his preperations to be Bar Mitzvah.

As with all things, I come to the film with my own prejudices and soapboxes, and let me tell you, every time there was some middle-aged woman on screen talking about how ‘spiritual’ this twelve year old boy was, and how much he helped them daven better through his mere presence, I wanted to punch them in the face.

But that’s me coming from my own belief that you should as much as possible let kids be their own people and not try to hang your own star on their backs.

There is no doubt in my mind that Lior would rather daven than anything else. The difference between Lior’s prayer life and my own? He goes and does it, where he is, and doesn’t let fear, or embarrassment, or, well, anything, really, stop him.

The movie is in my eyes more a movie about a family, one that experienced cancer, death, and the integration of a new parent. Lior is the second youngest, and the older kids are going off to college and beginning to look away from the family home, but also considering their baby brother will not have the same experiences. They fear for him.

And Lior davens away and continually answers the question, “What will you do when you are a man?” with “Drink beer!”

Maybe Lior is closer to HaShem than me. That’s not G-d ‘playing favorites’, that’s me being a slacker. That’s what I took away from those 87 minutes of film — a renewed desire to reassess my priorities and see if I can’t align my life more towards a path of joyful worship.

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