Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Earlier this week, thousands of Israeli 8th graders were anxiously waiting to hear if they had been accepted into the high school of their choice. To them, Rabbi Yuval Levinger wrote:

“I appeal to all the wonderful kids who will be receiving rejection letters today… Your entire life is ahead of you. This is not just a cliché. You will find the right place for yourself.


“Also, you should know, that this rejection, as painful as it is for you today, upgrades you. It transforms you into people who know how to believe in themselves even when others don’t always believe in them.

“You will join the illustrious ranks of Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, and Stef Wertheimer, the wealthiest person in Israel, as well as many others who succeeded in their fields even when others didn’t think they had a chance – not to mention the great rabbis and Torah scholars who flourished as well following years of rejection and failure.

“One day, I promise you, you will thank the institution that did not accept you on this, your first true maturity test. In this test, you discovered, with G-d’s help, that your value does not only depend on what others think of you. That knowledge alone is a gift that will serve as a blessing for you for your entire life.”


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Sivan Rahav-Meir, a ba’alas teshuvah, is one of the most popular media personalities in Israel. She is a Channel 2 News anchor, a columnist for Yediot Aharonot, and the host of a weekly radio show on Galei Tzahal. Every day she shares short Torah thoughts to over 100,000 Israelis – both observant and not – via Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp.