The Beautiful Legacy of Nelson Mandela

Since the passing of Nelson Mandela, many have been reflecting on his powerful legacy.  I am consistently struck by the parallels of what we learn from this beautiful and inspiring man and the Jewish values that I hold so close.  His message was clear, his impact great.  Each of us matters.

No matter the color of our skin, our religion, our gender; no matter if we are disabled or gifted, rich or poor; resilience - the qualities of perseverance and determination in the face of adversity - might just be the greatest skill that we can teach our children.

As it says in Proverbs 24:16:
For a righteous man can fall seven times and rise, but the wicked shall stumble upon evil.     כִּי שֶׁבַע יִפּוֹל צַדִּיק וָקָם וּרְשָׁעִים יִכָּשְׁלוּ בְרָעָה: 
When your enemy falls, do not rejoice, and when he stumbles, let your heart not exult,
  בִּנְפֹל אוֹיִבְיךָ אוֹיִבְךָ אַל תִּשְׂמָח וּבִכָּשְׁלוֹ אַל יָגֵל לִבֶּךָ:

Anyone can fall.  Everyone WILL fall.  What matters is that we get back up.  And that we do not celebrate the weaknesses of others.

"Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again."

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