I shared a very similar thought about a year ago around this time, yet it’s currently more important than ever.
Who is considered a great leader and what is considered great leadership?
Noah, who created the ark and saved his family and the animals from the flood which destroyed the world was considered a great man.
However, according to one interpretation of Rashi, a 10th century scholar, had Noah lived in the generation of Abraham, he wouldn’t have been considered the great man that he was.
The question is why? The answer boils down to leadership.
When God told Noah he was going to destroy the world, Noah asked God to save his family. Yet, when God told Abraham that he was going to destroy the city of Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham argued and negotiated with God. He pleaded with God, starting with saying that if there are 50 worthy people they were worth saving, and Abraham only conceded when he reached the conclusion that there weren’t even 10 worthy people in the city.
I’d argue that the greatest leader in Jewish history was Moses, and I’ll explain why. When God told Moses he was going to destroy the world, Moses said, God, if you destroy them, destroy me too, as who am I without my people, who am I without my brothers and sisters.
Today, more than ever, as Israel has suffered the greatest atrocity since its inception, we must be like Moses. For some of us, it’s easy; we feel the pain in our bones and in our souls. For others, it feels distant and we don’t feel it as deeply. Yet no matter how you feel, it’s important to show solidarity, support, love, and compassion. It’s important to find a connection, to speak up, to help to remind ourselves that this attack was an attack on each and every one of us.
This week, let’s be extra kind, let’s be extra patient, and let’s be extra sweet. Let’s treat our family, our brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, children, grandchildren, etc. with extra sweetness, knowing how many of us can’t and wish they could, and how many of us are wondering if a family member is still alive.
Accountability, Community, Unconditional Love
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