At Memorial Service, South Africa’s Chief Rabbi Compares Nelson Mandela to Yosef Hatzaddik


warren-goldsteinAt the memorial service for Nelson Mandela on Tuesday, attended by world leaders, South Africa’s Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein eulogized the former South African President, likening him to Yosef Hatzaddik for his ability and willingness to forgive.

“Joseph emerged from jail to become a leader and head of government of a mighty nation. He was reunited with his brothers and had the opportunity to exact vengeance and justice and yet Joseph transcended his personal pain and his need for retribution by forgiving his brothers so that his family won’t be torn apart and destroyed forever,” Rabbi Goldstein said to a crowd of thousands.

Leading an interfaith prayer service, Chief Rabbi Goldstein recalled Mandela’s ability “to embrace his brothers and sisters who inflicted so much pain on him and millions of others.”

The memorial also featured eulogies from U.S. President Obama, Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff, Cuba’s Raul Castro and China’s vice president Li Yuanchao. Leaders spanning the globe, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, were also in attendance, as were former U.S. Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.

Tuesday also happened to be the 20th anniversary of the day when Mandela and South Africa’s last apartheid-era president, F.W. de Klerk, received the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to bring peace to their country.

The Algemeiner Journal

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  1. How one compare Mandela to Yosef the Righteous boggles the mind. Mandela, after he was released from prison, went to Gaza, where in a video, declared in the presence of Yassir Arafat, yimach shmo, that if the path of peace does not work, then violence must be used to attain the goals of a Palestinian state. Mandela might have preached conciliation and peace in South Africa, but when it came to Israel, he encouraged its enemies in the use of violence.

  2. Rabbi Goldstein shlit”a is a great leader. He knows what he is doing. He represents the Yidden of SA, not those of other places. He learned in yeshivos for many years and is connected to daas Torah.

    Those who question his words should remember what it says in Pirkei Avos, ?? ???? ?? ???? ?? ????? ??????!

  3. It is not fair for people from far away, who do not fully understand the issues, to take statements out of context and criticize a great manhig.

    Rav Goldstein has done and does great things, harbotzas haTorah, kiruv, etc., under trying conditions. Limashal the Sinai Indaba, where he gets great speakers like Rav Yissochor Frand, Rabbi Berel Wein, and many others to speak to large gatherings of Yidden. He also has acted decisively to set up shmira for Yidden there as well from criminals. Halevai there would be more Rabbonim leading like him.

  4. Sometimes for the sake of Sholem you have to say things to appease
    remember he lives in a country that’s full of others and wants to remain at peace with them
    but wearing a Tallis at funeral is way much

  5. Please read the article carefully and you will see that his is ONLY comparing his ability to forgive!! He isn’t ch”v comparing him in any other way. Nelson Mandela exhibited excellent Midos for a non-Jew, irrespective of his views on Israel. And TIME is 100% correct, Rav Goldstein shlit”a is a Talmid Chacham and does EVERYTHING according to Halacha and Daas Torah.

  6. How can we compare a man who created the wing of the ANC that committed atrocities against innocent civilians such as the 1983 Church Street Bombing to Yosef HaTzaddik. What a reprehensible comparison to make.

  7. #11 You are right Rabbi Goldstein has shown true leadership with specific programs. But, in this episode to compare lehavdil elef velafei havdolos a blantant soineh yisroel to one of the holiest of holiest ‘Yosef Hazadik’ borders on pure kefirah.

  8. I was left speechless when I heard the comparing of Mandela to Yosef Hatzaddik! 1st that we should all live according to Mandela’s NOT the Torah’s values of kindness, compassion etc now to say this.

  9. This is an incredible Rav. If you have questions or concerns, ask him. He’s a real Talmud chacham and a leader connected to gedolim.

  10. Wow, Matzav is going into overdrive, in full Cover up mode! Red alert! This is a classic “hit & run” piece, with no dissenting views allowed! Very brave & mature of Matzav! You’re just a bunch of little coward babies!