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  • Torah Reading: Naso
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Pinchas(Numbers 25:10-30:1)

A Leader Must Always Lead

In this week's Torah portion, God showed Moses the Land of Israel and told him that he wouldn't be allowed to bring the Jewish people into the Land. Moses immediately said:

"May ... God ... appoint a man over the assembly, who shall go out before them ... and let the assembly ... not be like sheep that have no shepherd." (Numbers 27:16-17)



When Moses was told by God that he wouldn't be able to lead the Jewish people into the land of Israel, his knee-jerk response was not focused on his own fate, but rather to make sure that the Jews would still have someone in his absence who would continue to lead them. This is why Moses was one of the greatest leaders ever.

The ability to focus on other people's needs when the "going gets tough" and not on your own wants and desires is the true definition of leadership. Being a leader is not about the recognition or accolades you might receive, but rather it's the constant focus on the specific needs that are most important to those who are following you. Therefore, if for one reason or another you're no longer able to lead them, you will automatically put their fears and concerns as your primary focus.

The world is littered with countless numbers of cases where, once someone was asked to stop doing something, he ceased to care about the people whom his work was effecting. It makes you wonder if he really ever truly cared about them in the first place. The true colors of a leader are on full display when he leaves his leadership position and to see if he ever gives even a passing thought to all those who believed in him, his vision, and his dream.

The powerful message Moses taught us all is to fight the urge to initially take a demotion or firing personally. There will certainly be time to think about the impact of how this decision affects you. But right now your concern must be about those who trusted you.

Make no mistake; it certainly takes a lot of class to have your focus be on others when your ego, self-esteem, and your self-worth are seemingly all on the line. But it's precisely this knee-jerk response which separates a good leader from a great one.

July 8, 2006

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Visitor Comments: 10

(9) harry cohen, July 14, 2017 12:45 AM

leadership is given

our boss selects a leader,to create a following of people to get the job done, wheather its an army, a nation, a belief, or even a simple project. but leadership has ite ups and downs,and risks. As a boy my parents gave me the responsability of my younfed and one older siblings, as i grew up others always looked to me for leadership and protection. And yes i would stand in the line of dire to save anyone. now i,m much older and not physically dit as once i was. but even with six kids and many grandchildren, not a one wants to follow in my or my parents business, a family business of 110 years. AS a cohen my passion is doing for G D and his people,even when i can,t see over the wall.

(8) Anonymous, July 13, 2017 12:52 AM

BH My mom always said that the one who hires and fires is our Creator so when I couldn't get a job as assistant principal because I didn't have experience I kept applying until I found the right one. In that position I wasn't required to work Friday night games because one of the other assistants volunteered to do my Friday night games because he loved them. And another assistant volunteered to do my Saturday morning detention duty because he needed the money. Thus I didn't have to break the Shabbat. Yes waiting for the position He wanted for me was worth the wait even though I had to apply over 15 or more places It was a humbling experience but in the end I was able to help students in the high school level

(7) Maria, July 14, 2012 8:51 PM

Thank you!

Thank you for this timely message! Yaweh knew this is what my heart needed to hear "at such a time as this"! Glory to His name!

(6) Edwin, July 13, 2012 7:02 PM

the interest of the group

Brilliant. The interest of a member is important but does not exceed the interest of the group

(5) MD, July 13, 2012 5:23 PM

A leader is in control

A leader must control his followers. One who controls can get very carried away with his power, and loose sight of what his real position is, and turn into a "control freak". If that happens, the leader starts making decisions, without consulting or explaining to his followers his decisions. Should this happen, he is no longer considered an respectable outstanding leader, he becomes a boss giving orders and stops caring about the people he is leading.....and does what's good only for himself.

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