Jews Pay Emotional Tribute to Nelson Mandela, 'Joseph' of South Africa

Thousands Pack Johannesburg Shul as Nation Mourns

Miora Rajaonary

By Dave Goldiner

Published December 08, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 3 of 4)

His 12-year-old son Gabriel said he had learned a potent lesson from Mandela, who served as the country’s president after sweeping to victory in the 1994 democratic elections that ended apartheid.

“The power to forgive,” the boy said.

Goldstein ticked off a list of Jewish South Africans who played prominent roles in the freedom struggle, including Bram Fischer, a lawyer who defended Mandela during his infamous treason trial and Joe Slovo, the famed leader of the African National Congress and South African Communist Party.

Former South African president Thabo Mbeki also praised Jews for standing with Mandela in the struggle.

The soft-spoken leader, wearing a black yarmulke, warned the crowd that Mandela’s mission would not be completed until South Africa achieves more economic and social equality.

“How loyal are we to his beliefs, the beliefs that guided his struggle?” Mbeki asked the packed crowd.

The Israeli ambassador to South Africa, Arthur Lenk, paid tribute to Mandela and read a message of condolence from Israeli President Shimon Peres.

He pointedly admitted that Israel and South Africa have had a rocky diplomatic relationship at times, but said the Jewish State has nothing but respect for the Mandela’s commitment to democracy and reconciliation.

Lenk said the lesson of Mandela for the Middle East is that enemies must set aside hatreds and make difficult compromises for peace.

“We are still looking for our own internal Mandela,” the ambassador said. “The message of South Africa is that even the most seemingly intractable differences can be overcome.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "Selma. Nearly 50 years ago it was violent Selma, impossibly racist Selma, site of Bloody Sunday, when peaceful civil rights marchers made their first attempt to cross the Pettus Street Bridge on the way to the state capitol in Montgomery, Alabama." http://jd.fo/r50mf With the 50th anniversary approaching next spring, a new coalition is bringing together blacks, Jews and others for progressive change.
  • Kosovo's centuries-old Jewish community is down to a few dozen. In a nation where the population is 90% Muslim, they are proud their past — and wonder why Israel won't recognize their state. http://jd.fo/h4wK0
  • Israelis are taking up the #IceBucketChallenge — with hummus.
  • In WWI, Jews fought for Britain. So why were they treated as outsiders?
  • According to a new poll, 75% of Israeli Jews oppose intermarriage.
  • Will Lubavitcher Rabbi Moshe Wiener be the next Met Council CEO?
  • Angelina Jolie changed everything — but not just for the better:
  • Prime Suspect? Prime Minister.
  • Move over Dr. Ruth — there’s a (not-so) new sassy Jewish sex-therapist in town. Her name is Shirley Zussman — and just turned 100 years old.
  • From kosher wine to Ecstasy, presenting some of our best bootlegs:
  • Sara Kramer is not the first New Yorker to feel the alluring pull of the West Coast — but she might be the first heading there with Turkish Urfa pepper and za’atar in her suitcase.
  • About 1 in 40 American Jews will get pancreatic cancer (Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one of the few survivors).
  • At which grade level should classroom discussions include topics like the death of civilians kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets?
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.