Jewish Action Magazine Vol. 84 No.3 page 38

Jewish Action: If you could pick one figure in Jewish history who respresents hope and optimism and the ability to reinvent and start anew, who would that person be?

Dr. Abramson: I could think of many individuals but my favorite is Don Yitzchak Abarbanel, who went trhough tremndous tribulations.  In his golden years he elects to remain with the Jews rather than convert and take a high position in the Spanish government under Ferdinand and Isabella.  He is essentially exiled to the Mediterranean, living in different countries in his sixties and seventies.  That's when he decides: I'm no longer the minister of finance. I"m no longer involved in high-level politics. I guess I'll write a massive commentary on Tanach. Which he does, and it's brilliant.

He reinvents himself.  And when he has the opportunity to do so, he goes back into politics-in his seventies, he gets involved in high-level negotiations between Italy and Portugal.  He is remarkable in dealing with the various challenges he experiences in his life.  He never gives up on his Judaism and his Jewish identity. He is a role model to me.

Dr. Henry Abramson is the academic dean of Touro's Lander College of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Henry Abramson holds a PhD in history from the University of Toronto and is a specialist in Jewish history and thought.