For those who have mastered serenity, fifteen seconds ago is ancient history. They realize that once something is over, it is over regardless of whether it has been over for many years or for a relatively short time. It is understandable that it can take different people varying amounts of time until they are able to let things go. But the goal should be to let go of what is over and done with. In truth it is gone whether or not you let it. It is just a question of the degree of emotional mastery that you will have. Regardless of where you are at this moment, you can always improve on your ability to let things go as soon as they are gone.
Love Yehuda Lave
An offer Einstein did refuse
26 Feb 2018
Israel's first president, Chaim Weizmann, died on November 9, 1952. He had regarded physicist Albert Einstein as "the greatest Jew alive." Thus after Weizmann's death, the Israeli government, led by David Ben-Gurion, decided to offer the post of presidency to the 73-year-old Nobel laureate, who resided in Princeton, New Jersey.
Abba Eban, the Israeli ambassador to Washington and the state's UN representative, wrote a letter to Einstein to make the request. By the time the letter was hand delivered to Einstein on the evening of November 17, 1952, the New
York Times had already informed him of the offer from Ben-Gurion, and he had received phone calls from people who wanted to find out if he would accept the position.
Although Einstein was excited by the offer, he declined it cordially when he phoned Eban at his Washington office. Nonetheless, Eban asked him to provide a written statement declining the offer. That letter was delivered to Eban by an Israeli official who collected it from Einstein's home.
Here are extracts from that famed correspondence.
Letter from the Israeli Embassy, November 17, 1952:
Dear Professor Einstein: The bearer of this letter is the Minister at our Embassy in Washington. He is bringing you the question which Prime Minster Ben-Gurion asked me to convey to you, namely, whether you would accept the Presidency of Israel if it were offered to you by a vote of the Knesset. Acceptance would entail moving to Israel and taking its citizenship. The Prime Minister assures me that in such circumstances, compete facility and freedom to pursue your great scientific work would be afforded by a government and people who are fully conscious of the supreme significance of your labors.
Whatever your decision may be, I am anxious for you to feel that the Prime Minister's question embodies the deepest respect which the Jewish people can repose in any of its sons. To this element of personal regard, we add the sentiment that Israel is a small State in its physical dimensions, but can rise to the level of greatness in the measure that it exemplifies the most elevated spiritual and intellectual traditions which the Jewish people has established through its best minds and hearts both in antiquity and in modern times. Our first President, as you know, taught us to see our destiny in these great perspectives, as you have often exhorted us to do.
Therefore, whatever your response to this question, I hope that you will think generously of those who have asked it, and will commend the high purposes and motives which prompted them to think of you at this solemn hour in our people's history.
With cordial wishes, Ebba Eban Response from Albert Einstein:
I am deeply moved by the offer from our State of Israel, and at once saddened and ashamed that I cannot accept it. All my life I have dealt with objective matters, hence I lack both the natural aptitude and the experience to deal properly with people and to exercise official functions. For these reasons alone I should be unsuited to fulfill the duties of that high office, even if advanced age was not making increasing inroads on my strength. I am the more distressed over these circumstances because my relationship to the Jewish people has become my strongest human bond, ever since I became fully aware of your precarious situation among the nations of the world.
After Einstein declined the position, Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, a Labor Zionist leader and historian, was elected the second president of Israel in 1952. He was reelected in 1957 and again in 1962. Ben-Zvi died in office on April 23, 1963. To date, he was the longest-serving Israeli president.
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