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Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz; “The ability to summon enormous strength”

The contemporary hero is not the one described in Pirkei Avot (5:20) as being “heroic as a lion.”

In fact, a lion is a very lazy animal who does absolutely nothing most of the time, but has the ability to summon enormous strength in a second and do something spectacular.

The “heroic as a lion” kind of hero has great powers that are neither constant nor stable, but  are revealed in one extreme outburst.

The contemporary hero, the one whose heroism is not discernible, is the greater hero.

It may be the man who wakes up in the morning and· opens his grocery store· even though there was a terrorist attack there -the day before.

It is the person who does not flee into forgetfulness, or to a “safer” place, but rather continues doing all the things that must be done.

It is that person who walks with his backpack, and continues walking even when he gets hit; the person who, when his buildings are destroyed, rebuilds them; who when his plants are uprooted, replants them; who when his descendants are killed, gives birth to new ones.

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz