web analytics
August 21, 2014 / 25 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



It’s My Opinion: A Lifetime Crusade

South-Florida-logo

Last week, Diana Nyad emerged from the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Key West and walked to the beach. Onlookers cheered and blew conch shells. Nyad had finally fulfilled her dream. She was the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without the aid of a shark cage. It had been a long struggle.

Nyad had been trying to complete the swim for 35 years. Her first try was in 1978. She was 28 years old. Nyad is now 64. The venture has been her lifetime crusade.

Nyad made four unsuccessful attempts. She was stung by jellyfish and waylaid by a host of difficulties including storms, sharks and fierce ocean currents. She suffered a variety of ailments including hypothermia, hallucinations and nausea. She finally met success on her fifth try.

Her accomplishment has been hailed as the triumph of the human spirit. It has been cited as the ultimate example of persistence paying off. Many see Diana Nyad as a role model of courage and grit. The fact that she is a woman and senior citizen adds special significance to her victory. She has been an object of worldwide recognition. Congratulations are pouring in. President Obama tweeted her, “Never give up on your dreams.”

There are those, however, who view this victory as a tremendously misdirected waste of time and money. Nyad spent so much of her life in a quest to achieve this record. What if she had directed these efforts toward another goal?

Over the years, Nyad raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to finance the endeavor. Her last swim, alone, included a fleet of five boats and a support team of 35 people. Could this tremendous expenditure have been better used to benefit humanity? Who can say? Certainly sports and sport records are an important component in our culture that cannot be easily dismissed. The fields of art, poetry and music also have their champions and detractors.

We learn in Pirkei Avot, “Aize hu chacham, ha lomed mi kol adam” – who is wise, he who learns from everyone. There is a lot to learn from the perseverance and iron will demonstrated by Diana Nyad. Let us hope that our endeavors will benefit from some of the same incredible persistence she brought to her task and that our work will reflect worthy causes.

About the Author: Shelley Benveniste is South Florida editor of The Jewish Press.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “It’s My Opinion: A Lifetime Crusade”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Ashkelon home damaged in missile attack from Gaza on the eighth day of Operation Protective Edge, in July 2014. (archive)
Massive Rocket Barrage Blankets South
Latest Sections Stories
(L-R) Rabbis Tzvi Mandel, Akiva Stolper, Meir Borovetz, Yochanan Ivri and Shlomo Rizel. (Not shown: Rabbi Shmaya Modes.)

A CPE class at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in Brooklyn was tailor made for Orthodox participants.

Lewis-081514-Anna-Ticho

“I didn’t choose the landscape; it chose me.”

Astaire-081514

Woe to us that we have to be put to death like common heathen and murderers!

The world sees the hand of God through us, and does not like it.

The Rebbetzin began campaigning to increase public awareness of the importance of saying Amen.

Some educators today believe that Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder falls into an executive function category.

It’s ironic that the reality of death is often the greatest force steering the affirmation of life.

The theme of the event was “Together Let us Rebuild our Holy Beis HaMikdash on Tisha B’Av.”

Chaya Aydel Seminary has already established a close connection with France’s Jewish community.

All attendees left with fervent wishes for a swift and lasting peace in Israel.

How can awareness evolve from exploding stars?

More Articles from Shelley Benveniste
South-Florida-logo

It’s ironic that the reality of death is often the greatest force steering the affirmation of life.

South-Florida-logo

The theme of the event was “Together Let us Rebuild our Holy Beis HaMikdash on Tisha B’Av.”

Chaya Aydel Seminary has already established a close connection with France’s Jewish community.

All attendees left with fervent wishes for a swift and lasting peace in Israel.

It is inspirational to see the average Israeli acting with aplomb and going about daily routines no matter what is happening.

Participants wore blue and white, waved Israeli flags, and carried pro-Israel posters.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/community/south-florida/its-my-opinion-a-lifetime-crusade/2013/09/12/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: