Brave, Not Foolhardy

Wayne's World

In the citation accompanying the awarding of Canada’s Medal of Bravery to Darren Coogan by Governour-General David Johnston on October 28, 2011, comes the description of the events in 2006 that led to bestowing the award. In part, it reads “without a thought for his own safety,” Coogan pulled a man from a car that has exploded and was on fire after hitting a deer in a north Toronto suburb. While the Torah demands that we intervene to save a life at risk (Levitcus 19:16), there is lively debate in rabbinic literature on exactly how far a person must go in putting himself at risk. While the issue is too complex to be resolved in this paragraph, what is clear is that is that there should be thought for one’s own safety. Bravery is no more less because a rescuer considered the consequences before intervening.


Words to Live By

What lies behind you and what lies ahead of you pales in comparison to what lies inside you.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

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