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Farewell to three greats

Roght to left: Lieberman, Grossman, Kahneman. Wikipedia, nkrbeta, HUJ

Yesterday (Wednesday), 27th of march, was not an easy day for intellectuals in the world and Jews in particular – due to the death of three highly respected personalities: Prof. Daniel Kahneman, Prof. Abraham Grossman, and U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman. The three had nothing to do with each other, except for a basic desire to help advance the world, and deep pride in their Jewish identity. The three of them did succeed in their missions, and here would be a good place to review their lives:

Professor Daniel Kahneman, who died at the age of 90, was born in Mandatory Palestine in 1934, but grew up in France and survived the Holocaust. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology before his military service, and contributed to the IDF a basis for psychological tests that it still uses today, and later advanced to a doctoral student in psychology and behavioural economics. Together with his partner at the Hebrew University, Amos Tversky, he conducted a deep and long study of cognitive biases and human decision-making processes (which crystallized into the international bestseller “Thinking, Fast and Slow”), which earned him great international respect, and even the Nobel Prize in Economics of 2002 – even though he never formally studied economics.

Professor Abraham Grossman, who died at the age of 88, was born in mandatory palastine in 1936. He studied history and Talmud at the Hebrew University with the greatest scholars, and soon became a professor, an publishing executive, and an editor of important journals. Grossman quickly became one of the most important historians for the history of the Jewish people, especially the history of Ashkenazi Jews in the Middle Ages, and wrote and edited no less than 4 books on the character and importance of Rashi. Grossman quickly became a member of the Israeli National Academy of Sciences and Humanities, placing generations of thousands of students.

Joseph (Joe) Lieberman, who died at the age of 82, was born to an Orthodox Jewish family in Stamford, Connecticut in 1942, and maintained an Orthodox lifestyle for the rest of his life. Lieberman became politically involved at a young age and was active in the civil rights movement in the 60s. In 1982, he became Attorney General of Connecticut, and in 1988 he was elected to the U.S. Senate as a Democrat, remaining in office until 2012. In 2000, he ran under Al Gore as the vice-presidential candidate, and almost won. He was known in the political system as an honest man with a moral backbone, a figure which is currently lacking in the American political landscape.

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