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Op-Ed: Shimon Peres, may his memory be a blessing

William Goldstein comments on the passing of Shimon Peres and explains why he believes that all “ordinary people” are capable of great accomplishments.
Shimon Peres Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

The funeral of Shimon Peres brought back memories of funerals within my own family, just like it did for so many of you I’m sure. Here, though, the entire nation of Israel grieved with much of the world as well.

He was a great man, like so many of Israel's leaders, like so many of Israel's "ordinary people" as well. My father was a great man too and so was my mother a great woman. Their funerals were not televised around the world. They were "ordinary people" - whatever that means.

To me, of course, they were the best people who ever walked this earth but they received much less acknowledgment than celebrities or great leaders like Shimon Peres.

Real accomplishments are different than "ordinary" accomplishments. People are created, I believe, in the very image of their creator.

That means practically limitless potential. Some do extraordinary things. My iPhone buzzed two days ago with a message, a recording of Ophir Ben-Shetreet singing "Eli Eli", the famous song by Hannah Senesh.

It wasn't the words of the poem she wrote and it wasn't the melody as they were both "ordinary" - it was the circumstances surrounding her writing that came through and made that song very special. She was not an "ordinary" person, was she? Not at all.

But I'll bet that all of you have that kind of stuff within you and it just takes "extraordinary" circumstances to bring it out. I've known people like Hannah Senesh. I looked at her photograph and recognized many others I've known by the look in her eyes.

There are many people who I still haven't told how much I value them. Now, Shimon Peres would have said the same thing and made you smile. It would have meant more - because he was an extraordinary person - and he was simply better at being perfect than the rest of us ordinary people!

JOL Blogger | William Goldstein

William Goldstein is a retired chemistry teacher from the School District of Philadelphia. He was also a chemical engineer and worked on the Apollo 11 Camera at RCA in Hightstown, New Jersey. He studied at the University of Pennsylvania. He currently lives in Derby, VT.

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