The Making of Black Diamonds
Extreme adversity creates extremely great people.
Very deep in the Earth, in a layer known as the mantle, diamonds are formed. Under 2,000- degree heat and overwhelming pressure that exceeds 725,000 pounds per square inch.
The intense heat and pressure together create a crystalline carbon, which then forms a hexagonal sheet pattern into a triangular shape, resulting in none other than diamonds. For us non-scientists, it sounds crazy, but that’s how it works!
What started out as regular graphite becomes beautiful, highly valuable diamonds. All because of the pressure.
People really aren’t much different.
As a Jew, people ask me quite regularly why we are so few in number, yet we count among us the likes of Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Justice Louis Brandeis, Elie Wiesel and Harry Houdini. How did we end up with Irving Berlin, Philip Roth, Jerry Seinfeld, Judy Blume, Marc Chagall, Bob Dylan, Henry Heimlich, Stan Lee, Levi Strauss and Carl Sagan?
Side note. There were numerous non-white Jews who also made their significant mark, although most of us don’t know their names because they suffered the double-whammy of being Jewish and non-white. People like world philosopher Maimonides. Algerian-born economist Jacques Attali. Tunisian fashion icon Max Azria and his fellow countryman Alain Boublil, who wrote the lyrics for “Les Misérables.” Albert Bourla, the Greek-Jewish CEO of Pfizer. Of Spanish descent, Emma Lazarus, author of the poem engraved on the Statue of Liberty. Joseph Nakash, the founder of Jordache.
Individual Jews invented or made the television remote control, agricultural drip-irrigation technology, color photography, lasers, vaccines for bubonic plague and hepatitis, cell phones, pacemakers and countless other products, cures and scientific breakthroughs.
To be clear, though, it’s not because Jews are better.
We can debate spirituality until the cows come home, but one thing’s a matter of historical record. Jews had to endure severe adversity over the past 3,000 years. The Jewish origin story starts in adversity. Back-breaking slavery in Egypt, and it hasn’t stopped since. From the Crusades to the Romans to the Muslim Conquest to…