Study and Theory/
Yom Hazikaron

Yitzchak Sadeh

Paths of Heroism

Heroism is not a summit. It is the route of mountaineering, a path that does not have leaps. As in every path, in this one too, has forks. Sometimes the branching leads downwards. The sheer path of heroism is the one that leads consistently in one direction - to the top of the mountain.

Let us try then, to illuminate our path, since it entails dangers of descent and of errors.

Let us first say: The foundation of heroism is not courage, but self-sacrifice. Courage of heroism can be also attained by a man who is fearful, if he is ready to sacrifice himself. True heroism is manifested also in everyday life. We are accustomed to attribute the concept of heroism to military operations for an understandable reason: a warrior is required to agree on the onset of his engagement, to maximum sacrifice, to giving up his life. But this is not the only way. This may be main road leading to heroism. However, there are thousands of trails that lead upwards.

Heroism is, first of all, a moral attribute. Heroism that entails self-sacrifice is not fundamentally cruel. it is not brutal. It is the highest form of service. Basically, it is altruism.

Yitzchak Sadeh was the Founder and Commander of the Palmach

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