Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Siggy posts excerpts from the moving eulogy of Abraham Lincoln given by Rabbi Isaac M Wise, delivered in Cincinnati Ohio, on April 19, 1865.

Here is just one paragraph:
The photographer or lithographer, the painter or sculptor, can not eternize a man; he can not give you more of him than a faint delineation of the outside, shape and features, the most unimportant portion, the mere case of a person. Monuments, however lofty and extensive, crowded with inscriptions and symbols, tell very little, after all, of the man himself, to whose honor they may be erected. The passions, feelings, struggles, victories, motives and thoughts of a great mind, and each of them is a real fraction of his existence, are so innumerably manifold and change so often, that no artist can represent a considerable portion of them. This is the case especially with the deceased, Abraham Lincoln. The best representation of his figure will not tell posterity who he was. His outside appearance bore no resemblance even to his real nature. The most skillful philosopher will fail in describing the man who stood at the head of affairs during this gigantic struggle, his cares and troubles, his sleepless nights and days of anxiety, his thoughts and his schemes, his triumphs and mortifications, his hopes and fears, and ten thousand more sentiments, feelings and thoughts, which moved his mind in the stormy period of his Presidential term.

Go and read it all.

Siggy asks, "Would the candidates for the highest office in the land today be worthy of these words?" Alas, no. Most modern politicians aspiring to the highest office in the land are mere moral pygmies compared to Lincoln, who--though he was vilified by many in his own time--was arguably among the greatest, if not the greatest, of all American Presidents.

No comments: