Before I get rolling on this, here's a tidbit from Wikipedia to help you stay on the same page as me:
The secondary meaning of Mitzvah refers to a moral deed performed as a religious duty. As such, the term mitzvah has also come to express an act of human kindness. The tertiary meaning of Mitzvah also refers to the fulfillment of a mitzvah.Alright. Good. We got that out of the way. Goyishe readers, you're welcome.
What I am attempting to convey is what my work in autistic self-advocacy means to me as a Jewish woman. I'm not the first Jewish woman to have to come to terms with her autism, in fact, a cursory glance at the greats of autistic self-advocacy is filled with a great treasury of strong Jewish women with autism. I hope they count me as a peer, though I do not compare to them in terms of brilliance, strength, and perseverance. But, my autism and my Jewish background and Jewish outlook have influenced the way I approach my life, and that includes the way I approach my disability, and how to best defend myself when faced with opposition because of my autism. So, here's my story.
I'm not religious, really. If you were to dissect me post-mortem, my ghost would be utterly unsurprised if there were no spiritual bones found. But I maintain a strong grip on my identity as a Jew, even though I did not grow up in a religious household. As suspected fellow autie Albert Einstein put it: