Fourth time lucky, says Edna Freinkel

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To choose love amidst hate and hope amidst darkness. This was the takeaway message which Edna Freinkel, the recipient of the Europcar Women in Leadership Award, offered on Sunday night.
by MIRAH LANGER | Sep 12, 2019

Freinkel, who described herself as “87 going on 17” told the audience that the inspiration for her work at literacy and education programme The Readucate Trust is, in fact, Judaism.

“We base our successful work on the works of the great mystic, Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook. In his essay on love, he said that it’s proper to hate the evil that clings to the person, but insofar as he is endowed with a divine image, it’s important to love him.”

Freinkel, who was visibly moved by her award, said that Kook’s beliefs had guided her in her engagement with the prisoners helped by her organisation.

Expanding Kook’s decree to wider society, Freinkel said that while “South Africa is in a very dark place at the moment, I haven’t given up hope”. Instead, she said she promoted Chief Rabbi Dr Warren Goldstein’s assertion of South Africa as a “nation of heroes”.

“We must actualise the belief that everyone is made in the image of G-d. I call on every one of you to continue to believe in the innate goodness of mankind, and be a hero to someone else.

“We could make South Africa one of the greatest countries in the world. We have such wonderful people here,” said Freinkel, who was given a standing ovation by the audience.

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