I have been thinking about heroes lately following a conversation with Rabbi Golker about Maradona which became the focus for my last assembly. Maradona was a sporting legend but the scenes of grief and the thousands queuing to pay their final respects suggested that this was a man who was more than just a footballer.
When I thought about Argentina during the period when Maradona was growing up, his status became more understandable. The country was ruled by a brutal dictatorship and thousands had disappeared. In 1982, Argentina lost the Falklands war and there was very little for Argentinians to feel proud of in their country. Then a poor boy from a shantytown helped, through his genius, to propel Argentina to World Cup victory in 1986, on the way beating England which came as some compensation for the Falklands defeat. This helped to restore Argentina’s national pride and faith in itself as a fledgling democracy.
We do not live under a dictatorship but the news has been unremittingly depressing for months and we also need some heroes to lift our spirits. Colonel Tom Moore with his aim of raising £10 000 for charity by doing 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday was one such. In the end he raised over £32 000 000. In our daily lives, we can all act as a hero to someone else by an unexpected act of kindness, going above and beyond the call of duty or by quiet thoughtfulness. My hero this week is Mrs Langdon for all her efforts in getting nearly 800 chromebooks out to students, a process which was very far from simple. I invite you to identify the heroes in your life and to acknowledge them.
Wishing you all a Good Shabbos.