Audioburst Search

Ep. 60: Moses: The Quintessential Jewish Leader

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

This is number sixty of the Jewish history podcast. I wanna thank all the listeners that have been there since the beginning and all the new listeners that have joined on board. And as you can imagine researching and preparing and organizing and editing these podcasts take a long time as you can imagine. And I think at episode sixty it's fair for me to ask the audience to do something for me. And I made a list of five things that each one of the listeners to do you could choose one of the five maybe wanna do all five, but these are five things that you could do for me if you want to show your appreciation for the hard work that I've put in to making six the episodes of the Jewish history podcast. You could choose any one of these five options option number one would be to make donation to torch web dot org. There's of course, a link in the description, we have an organization here in Houston, Texas with five rabbis doing all kinds of Jewish education. And outreach. Check out our website towards that Ord and make a donation that would be number one option number two would be to share this podcast with a friend. If you enjoyed quite likely that they'll be someone else that you know, they'll will enjoy to share it with them option. Number three. Download listen. And subscribe to one of my other podcast. This is one of for the time being five podcast. Please go to the future. We're going to add a few more. But I have the partial podcast this Jewish life. Eternal ethics Torah one. You can put in the name into whatever podcast app, you use and see them all or there's also leaned some website, and in the description, very podcasts listened to some other topic. Besides for Jewish history. You may enjoy that as well option number four on itunes, this podcast has sixty eight five star reviews at the last time that I checked, and I appreciate everyone that's on the way to make a five star review. But I see no reason why we can't have one hundred. So that will be option number four. It a five star rating on itunes and finally option. Number five. Send me an Email. The Email address is rabbi Welby at Jima dot com. Introduce yourself don't be a stranger. Thank you for listening. And thank you for doing something for me. I really appreciate it. This Jewish history podcast is sponsored in honor of my friend and study partner Carlos while his wife, Jill and children, Jordan and Noah, thank you for your friendship and generous support of torch since his appearance in chapter two of the book of exodus Moses is the most important character in the Torah. And in fact, the Torah ends with the passing of Moses at the end of Deuteronomy now of all the people in Jewish history. There's probably more to talk about regarding Moses. Ios than any other individual. He's considered by Jewish philosophy to be the greatest person greatest man of all time. So there's a lot of different angles to parse out his story. So for example, we're told on the tower that Moses Moshe is the greatest prophet and all the commentaries on the Talmud and my monitors. They all explain that. Moses wasn't just a greater profit on a higher level. He was qualitatively different on multiple fronts. So for example, rear quote here from my monetize all the prophets with these tips from Moses prophesied in dreams or visions, but Moses prophesied while awake and alert all the prophets prophesied via an angel. Therefore, they see through parables and riddles. But Moses prophesied not financial as it states. Mouth-to-mouth I speak, Tim and gods. To Moses face to face, Moses, the one that has direct divine communication all the other prophets. It's via an angel as if to say with respect to Moses without powerballs, rather, he sees the matter clearly without riddles and without parables all the prophets are stricken frightened and zilla rated. But Moses is as a person speech to his friend all the prophets cannot prophesy whenever they want. But Moses is not like that rather whenever he desires the Holy Spirit. Invalid him and prophecy rests upon him. My monetize delineates four qualitative differences between the prophecy of Moses and all the other prophets all the other prophets. It's via dream vision. A trance, whereas Moses, it's direct. Verbal communication from God. It's all scintillating league clear all the other prophets. It's the end angel Moshe. Moses, it's the God himself for Moses talking to God is a natural form of indication's. He doesn't get too excited. Here's an too terrified. It's normal. In fact, Moses conversation with humans seizes to become normal. As the Torah tells us in chapter thirty four of exodus that Moses had to wear a mask to separate his face from the onlookers from other humans when he would talk to them. And finally Moses is able to prophesy on demand all the other prophets that the sit and wait we've got appears to them communicates to them than they have prophecy. Otherwise, they cannot beckon God to speak to them. Whereas Moses he's able to prophesy whenever he wants. The Talmud relates that all prophets have their own style. Because every profit they are conveyed some sort of image or powerful or vision, and they have to interpret what that means. So Jacob is shown a ladder with angels don't up and down there shown something, and then they have to filter that through themselves and spit out the message in their own formulation. Whereas Moshe Moses his prophecy is but a funnel and he conduct from God. And that's of course, why Moses the wanted to Tara because he's not contributing any of his own. Embellishment any of his own interpretation any of his own style. He's just giving us the direct undiluted word of God. So, of course, Moses prophecy is definitely one angel of his character persona. That is very unique. In addition, Moshe Moses is the most. Humble of men, according to the tower, the book of numbers twelve three Moshe is unav- owed mccalla Adama shop. Now, demain Moshe is exceedingly humble more than any other man who exist upon the face of the earth. So in addition to being the greatest prophet Moses is excelling with respect to humility. In addition. We find a Torah attributes supernatural capabilities to Moses. So for example, several times three by my count in exodus. Thirty four did remind me nine nine nine nineteen the Torah stresses that for the duration of Moshe's forty day ascent to Sinai. He did not eat bread nor drink, of course, humans need food and water at regular intervals are all will die. Moses is a different kind of human where he's able to go from forty days before tonight's without eating nor. Or drinking in several Talmudic. Sources Moses is called an angel and in stricture in chapter three or four verse twenty nine of exodus we learned that upon his the sent from the mountain his face shown, so brightly it was as bright as the sun and from that point forward Moses had to wear a mask to avoid blinding, the people. So again, we're giving these indications of Moses Abdeen such a different class of human something. We can't even fathom the grace profit the most humble he's like an angel. In addition, the Talmud gives us a very interesting dialogue that Moses conducted with the angels upon his ascent to heaven. The angels inquired. God what is this human doing? Amongst us wiser human in heaven. And the almighty tells the angels corn to the Tom with the book of shabas page. Eighty eight b that Moses is here to get the Torah. And the angels are absolutely incredulous. This Torah that exists for nine hundred seventy four generations before the world was created here and give it to humans the flesh and blood. The can't believe it. The couldn't justify that ridiculous notion. How do you intend to give such a holy Torah to such fallible transient humans? So God tells Moses. Okay. Well, why don't you give them an answer justify your claim? And Moses tells that while I'm steered if I if I argue with them what if they burn me with the fire of their nostrils and my response. No, no grab onto my throne. And you could talk comfortably you know. I'm going to protect you. And then Moses launches an attack on the argument of the angels. He rebuts their claim he triumphs over them in his argument. And he's able to get them to agree that the Torah indeed belongs in the hands of man. Not in the hands of angels again with C Moses like this hybrid of human and angel and he's able to negotiate and engage and debate and triumph over angels. The Talmud in the book, close twenty nine beat tells us another supernatural ability that Moses had and that he was able to time travel. And it says that when Moses ascended to heaven he saw that God was making designs. Little crown. Let's above the letters. Why are you making crown let's above us? If you look at that, a Torah struggle notice that there are certain letters upon which there is certain designed certain crowns. Why prey tell asks Moshe do you God need to make these embellishments and top of the letters? That response. There's going to be an individual and about fourteen or fifteen hundred years, hence has as rebbe diva. And he's going to study the crown let's the Johnson titiles above the letters. Some Moses is so impressed by this. He says, okay, I want to meet him. Well, of course, we know he doesn't exist yet. He's only gonna exist. Fourteen hundred years in the future. But God says okay, and he puts Moses in some sort of magical time machine he tells the turnaround Moses turns around and while LA he's sitting in the lecture hall of Rebecca in Israel, fourteen hundred years in the future where we get details of what he experienced in the lecture hall, and then he came back to God. And said God, why are you giving the tour via media VERA kiva he does a second time to witness the death of rebbe t at the hands of the Romans. But the obviously the the underlying eye-popping revelation is the fact that Moses, according to this source is able to time travel, and that of course, is another aspect of his persona. That is definitely impressive and worthy of inquiry. And I think just this brief survey of Moses resume will make your clear that there's a lot to talk about when we discuss Moses after all he's the one who the conveyor of Torah he's bridge connecting our world with the heavens above. But what I wanna do in this podcast is isolate one aspect of his persona, and that is his leadership qualities Moses was an is the quintessential Jewish leader. And the sources demonstrate that he wasn't only a great Jewish leader. But he was a different type of leader type of leader that we seldom see today, and I think by learning about Moses this character as a leader as he related to his underlings to his constituencies. We could build a model of what other Jewish leaders really are supposed to try to emulate. So what I wanna do is. I'm going to ignore a lot of motions storyline. Because if we did it in its entirety. It would be a lot longer than one episode. But I want to examine the unique nature of most Hsieh's of Moses leader. Ship profile and the try to build a template from it of what the prototypical Jewish leader looks like and how we should strive to make sure that our. Leaders our Jewish leaders a fit that mold. So again, this is going to be an incomplete retelling of Moses the store, we're just going to highlight several aspects of his characteristics and his profile in his persona that are no worthy. Vis-a-vis his stature as the greatest leader of our history. So the first part to look at is Moses is pedigree. As father's name is on REM and his mother's name is yo- Kevin and his relationship to Levi. The son of Jacob does both through his father and his mother his mother, you'll have Ed is the daughter of Levi. And his father is the grandson of Levi more specifically were told in exodus six twenty that his father Amraam, married. His aunt Yohannan said. And this relationship was consummated before the tower was officially conveyed at Sinai, obviously. And in the book of vindicates, we read how one of the prohibited relationships is a man is not allowed to marry his aunt Eman is allowed to marry his niece, but is not allowed to marry his aunt and had Moses been born a hundred years later. He would have been a bastard he would have been born to a an illegitimate union. Meaning that Moses is background was a little bit standardise borderline Stanley's. He would have been a pariah an outcast. Someone who is not allowed to intermarry the Jewish people. If his parents had married hundred years later. Which means that Moses had some stalls in the closet fact, one of the commentaries points out that this indeed is a quality is a feature not a bog it's a benefit of Moses is characteristic. The fact that his background his lineage wasn't so perfect. Why for someone to be a great Jewish leader? They have to have in the words of the Tomlin the book of Yoma page twenty two they have to have a box of rodents attached to their neck. It's it's a very splashy way of saying that he has to have some stalls in the closet. He can't be too perfect. Because if someone is too perfect if someone is infallible of someone is just so perfect on every front the cannot properly relate to the simple people to the peasantry to the people that are not so perfect. So in fact. Moses, and his background is actually a positive model that Jewish leaders are supposed to have. They're not supposed to be so perfect and atomic goes on to say that Saul was perfect in every way, but his team dumb and his monarchy in his reign lasted a grand total two years. David was a great grandson of Ruth. Who was not only what she's a convert. But she was a convert from a nation that it wasn't so clear if that nation is in fact allowed to convert to Judaism, quite some opinions and mows in times of David. He was illegitimate. He wasn't a legitimate Jew because his great great grandmother Ruth was a moa bite. And it wasn't so clear. If Mobike women are allowed to convert and intimacy the Jewish people, and that uncertainty that fact that he does not have this. Unquestionable glorious limit. He's up a sign of a prestigious family is actually an asset. So that's the first thing was see about Moses that his background is a little bit uncomfortable to talk about. Moreover, his upbringing is arguably traitorous why as very un-chinese held Moses is hidden in a box. His mother sons the bought floating on the river, and as fate would have it. He's picked up and adopted by Pharaoh's daughter, and he grows up in luxury insecurity in the bosom of the enemy. He grows up as a stepson of the great villain. And of course, it's quite easy for people to look at Moses and say, he's not representing us. He's one of them. He lived as a step. Son of pharaoh the same man who is subjugating enslaving the Jews in fact, his name Moses who gave him as they Moses. According to Jewish tradition. His mother gave him a Jewish name the name Moshe. The name Moses is an addiction name given to him by his gyp shin. Step mom is this someone that you, and I would think is a good candidate to lead the Jews out of Egypt. Someone who grew up in the lap of luxury in the palace together with all the options. Most of us would say that. No, he's not a good candidate. And yet we see that. Specifically someone like this someone who does not fit into the mold someone who wasn't produced in the cookie cutter. Mold of what we would imagine a great Jewish leader. Would look like someone like that is bound to have humility is likely to be able to identify with the lower statute members of the pop. And someone whose rise to power or rise to greatness is unexpected it's not like people were pointing at Moses from day one same year destined to lead the nation. He was able to grow and flourish in obscurity without the grand expectations of people looking at him and pointing to him as a likely candidate to save the Jews. And this is something we see more broadly. Like, we said we talked about David. He was someone like that his own family. In fact, when Samuel came to the house of Jesse and he says some one ears one of your son's is going to be the king. He went through all the sons, but one even thought to nominate David because even his own family's parents brothers. They'll thought of course, Dave is not the right guy. David that gingy in the back with the shepherd. He's no way to have the. Chops to be a leader. And yet, he's the the prototypical teen of Israel Dhabi. Melodies wral. Dave the king of Israel Moses like that a little bit as well. And in fact, this applies also with respect to two Tober leadership. You know, my monetize when he delineates the order of the transmission of the Torah. He's constantly highlighting the fact that some of the great Torah leaders of our history arose to prominence from total obscurity, for example, rabbi, Akiva, wrapping mayor descendants of converts Shmaya enough. Talion converts themselves hill grew up in poverty. A these are not the great Jewish leaders are ones that start from very humble beginnings. Now in verse eleven of chapter two we read about Moses coming of age, and we read three separate episodes in succession, where we're given somewhat of a biography of his character. So verse eleven were read, and it was in those days Moshe grew up. He went out to his brethren, and he saw in their pain and suffering and he saw Egyptian man striking a Hebron of his brethren. So the first verse we we about Moses an adult he goes out. He goes to witness the suffering of his fellow Jews. He sees an Egyptian man attacking a Hebron of his brethren. He turns right turns left he sees that. No one is watching he strikes the gyp Sion. He kills him. And he buries him in the sand. The very first event or two events of Moses life as an adult. He witnesses this. Suffering of Jewish people. And he takes action when there is a gyp Shen man striking a Jewish man of his brethren, and this show is us right away from the very beginning that Moses was intolerant of evil. He was intolerant of the vulnerable being beaten, and he defended them, even if it meant endangering his own life and the mid rush goes onto elaborate what happened in this episode because the episode begins that Moses saw the suffering of his brethren in a more general Listrik sense. And then it goes on specifically to talk about he saw one particular Egyptian man striking one particular Hebron of his of his brethren and he takes action. But the question the mid rush poses is what did Moses see generally speaking. When he saw the suffering of his Jewish brethren. What is meant by the words, and he saw he would see their suffering and weep saying whoa is to me for you would that I could die for you for. There is no work more strenuous than molding bricks Moses would lower his shoulder to take upon the burden and help each and every one of them the first understanding of what happened here is that Moses would go out and see people suffering, and he would try to help them as best. He could he would shoulder the burden of each individual the he encountered, and I think this is convened to us very deep point about Moshe's character and his profile as leader. This is a nation comprised of hundreds of thousands of slaves. There is a wide stale injustice being perpetrated the Jewish people. What does Moses do he sees people suffering, and he lowers his shoulder and tries to help. Every person that he encounters. Well, how many people could most as a possibly helped a dozen two dozen one hundred maybe if he was very assiduous a thousand it's a drop in the bucket compared to how many Jews are suffering, but the commentaries explained here is that Moses was so pained by the suffering of other people he wasn't making calculations. How do I solve a problem? He was trying to alleviate pain their pain was his pain how to someone respond when they feel pain. They tried to alleviate it, and this is much deeper than kindness. It's identifying with another person to the degree that when they're suffering. You're suffering. That's what Moshe Moshe is showing us here. The first major episode of his life as a leader we see that. He's very selfless. He cares about what other people are going through their pain is his pain and right away. He's motivated to act to try to help them. Even if it's not gonna solve the problem because he's not operating of that level. Let's solve problems from central planning. He is identifying with the pain of those that are suffering. That's the first to of the majors. But really reveals a deep insight into whom OSHA was and what the Taurus telling us about him. And why he was selected as we shall see. The majors. Continuous a second interpretation of what Moses saw rabbi Eleazar, the son of Rubio see from the Galilee said he saw a large load unafraid frail person any light load on a large person a load intended for a man on a woman and a load intended for woman to man a load intended for an elderly person on a youngster and a load and ten intended for youngster on an elderly person, Moses abandoned, his stature, Moses after all was the prince and went to alleviate their suffering under the guise of assisting pharaoh. Consequently, the holy one blessed is he the almighty said. You set aside your matters and went to witness the plight of Israel and treated them like brothers. I two says Dodd will set aside, the lofty and lowly matters and talk to you. Well, we're told here is that in the very first episode of most is live as an adult. We see the key of why he was selected why he was special. Why he became the great leader the great prophet and the model upon which Jewish leadership is viewed through he noticed the suffering of every individual not just in general listed sense. But on an individual minute level. He noticed that there's a frail person who suffering in this way. There's an old person in this ban is young person in a man and a woman everyone he was able to identify with them to feel what they're feeling and to suffer with them on their level. He lowered himself. He was a prince after all he lowered himself and treated other people like brothers when your brothers and pain, you feel the pain got says. Okay. In response, I will lower myself, and I will become so to speak an equal to I will talk to you face to. Face this. I think from this very beginning introduction of Moses. We see a definition of Jewish leadership Jewish leadership is shouldering the pain and the burden of the constituents suffering alongside them and being selfless arrive to this episode. There's two immediate episodes in succession, the second day Moses does out and he sees two Jewish men fighting and right away. He intervenes. He tells one of them wicked one why are you striking your brother and the man responds to him? Why are you in charge who made you the boss? Why are you intervening? Are you going to kill us like he'll be addiction man yesterday? And Moses realizes he's endanger, those people go inform on Farrell and Farah wants to kill Moses. Moses has the flee. And he flees to the land of median, and he ends up at well. And the minister of million. Of course, that's Jeff throws soon to be Moses father in law. He has seven daughters and the seven daughters are taking the flock to the well to fill the water. And all the other shepherds start harassing these vulnerable girls and Moses right away stands up at defends them and gives water to their flock. So we're exactly seven verses into Moses a story, and we see three times that Moses is defending those that are vulnerable is intolerant of evil is intervening is proactive in trying to remedy what he sees as injustice, he's not complacent. He's not quieted. He's totally intolerant of evil, and he re reacts instinctively, Moses, Moses, goodness and care and concern for other people had penetrated so deeply within him that all evil was anathema, and when he saw evil immediately it elicited a response. And that of course, is helping to contribute to the construction of what it means to be a great Jewish leader. I want to look a little bit further to the episode of the burning Bush in chapter three of exodus. So the first thing we're told is that Moses Mary's. Sapporo the daughter of throw and he's hired by his father in law as a shepherd so he's out one day with his flock, and he sees a burning Bush, but counter-intuitively the Bush is not being consumed by the fire. And indeed this is a representation of God. And he has his first prophecy. But what's interesting here is that rushing has comment on this verse? This is chapter three verse to Rashi asked. The question is why God talking to Moses from amidst a burning Bush Bush has after all small little plans, maybe dodge sort of talked to Moses from a burning tree or bring cedar tree. Something a little bit more impressive. And the answer says Rashi it's to show that God is suffering alongside the Jewish people. Jewish people are suffering their enslaved in Egypt. They're being tormented mistreated. Got says I'm going to lower myself so to speak. I am going to suffer alongside them. I am with them in their pain. I'm only going to occupy so to speak a Bush when I convey, my prophecy to Moses. And we see here that Moses is emulating God just like God is identifying lowering himself and suffering with the Jewish people so to speak Moses does the same thing. And this I did is very it's very revealing about Moses character and the character of a great Jewish leader. And got tells them right away. Take off your shoes it's been speculated that why did God tells motel Moshe to take your shoes is a very odd commandment. And maybe we could speculate that of all your clothing items, the one thing or the one item that's most distinct to a person is their shoes. You can't really share. You could share your t-shirt your coat, maybe even your pants. You could share a lot of things with your friends, but shoes one things you don't share why? Because the shoes they mold to your feet, and they become yours exclusively in moesha's about to be initiate as a great Jewish leader. He's previously been an individual very racks individual. But now, he's never responsibility the whole Jewish nation. I thank God tells him take off your shoes, meaning that you have to break out of this smaller pre existing narrow world used to make yourself malleable to be able to fit into other people's worlds. And accommodate them. And then he tells them I'm going to send the on this very important mission. Got tells him. I am the God of Abraham Isaac and Jakub I saw the suffering of my nation in Egypt. I heard their cries, I know they're paying I wanted to go save them. And I want to hire you as my emissary, let a bad job offer. God wants to hire. Moses as the leader to lead, the Jews out of Egypt and into the land of Israel about atoll. Let hall chalet hall pyro. God tells Moses now go, and it will send it to pharaoh, and you will take my children, the children of Israel outside of Egypt and remarkably you would think that if someone is given a job offer from God, they'd take it regardless. But if it's a job offer from God to become the most important figure in all Jewish history. That's like an incredible offer. What does? Uses do he right away? So that's what you would think. But he doesn't in fact, he is so reluctant to take upon the mantle of leadership, and he argues argues and artisan with God telling him, no take someone else. I'm not qualified. I'm not worrying fact are say just tell us that his seven days of negotiation Moses unwilling to take the job and he mounts six distinct arguments over the course of that week of why he's not qualified. I he says it will whom I to go. I'm not worthy speaking to kings. And then he says, well, why are the Jews were they've been saved? What name should I tell the Jewish people when they asked me, they won't believe me, an entree communicator. And finally, he says send someone else implying send Aaron my older, brother. First thing we see here is that there's humility. He January believes that he's not qualified for the job. This is so to speak the way you so they used to run for president. It was it was considered uncouth for someone to nominate themselves. Get someone else to nominate you idea is that a real leader is someone who doesn't want the job doesn't feel that they're even worthy of the job. It's improper for them to be it by merely being desires of the job is shows that you're not qualified. That's the way the leaders of America used to be. And that's what we see with Moses. In fact, he is the most qualified person for the job and his reluctance to accept the job is more proof that he is indeed worthy. And the commentary is point out. Is that the real reason why Moses was job is because he felt you know, he hasn't. He has an older brother and his older brother errand house Aaron gonna feel when he sees his little baby, brother. Ascending to the highest office in the land. Ho feel a little miffed. They'll feel maybe a little bit envious. And therefore, maybe the Jewish nation is at stake. But I'm not gonna trample on Aaron says Moses, even if it's proper even if God tells me, and he even if the future of the Jewish people recipes on this if we have to denigrate air, there's gotta be another way. It's not it's not it's not proper for me to do it. And you know, what God actually agrees with Moses. God agrees that had Aaron been envious. It would be improper for Moses to go. But God says to Moses Aaron will be glad in his heart. When he sees you becoming the king of the Jewish people. And in fact, in all of Torah, there's only one person upon which there is testimony that there's no envy, and that's Aaron only Aaron of all people all the whole Torah only Aaron does the the Torah testify harbors, no envy in his heart. But what's clear from this episode is that had Aaron been envious in his heart. Then Moshe had a had a good argument. It was it would be improper for Moses to go assume the mantle of leadership it just that the reality was that Arab would be happy. But the principles indeed true that if Moses was to shame Aaron it would not be worth it, which is an astonishing idea that you know, the ends do not justify the means. Even if the ends mean save the Jewish people, and the means is only denigrating one. Man, which is a very surprising takeaway, but it seems like that's evident from the text that according to Jewish philosophy. And Jewish leadership. If there's a very important ends to be had and the means are a little bit problematic. The ends do not justify the means. What happens right afterwards Moshe finally agrees? He's gonna go back to Egypt to go. Save the Jews. But first he makes a pit stop in chapter four verse eighteen back at the home of his father law. What did he tell his father in law? He tells them he asked permission can I go back to Egypt to say, the Jewish people. This seems very surprising. Moshe was given an instruction by God to go. See the Jewish people. And he goes to ask Jeff throw for permission. Got sons you wanna mission, and you don't go and consult your idolatrous father-in-law. Can I do it? Should I do it? What do you think it seems very odd? The commentaries. Explain that Moses when Moses married his wife Sapporo, he promised to not leave unless he gets permission from Jeff throw. And now he's about to leave. So he's going to ask you permission. That was the deal. The fact that God told him to leave doesn't seem to matter. The deal was that Moses would only leave mid yen with the permission with the blessing of his father, alone dot tells you to leave doesn't matter you still stop you have to keep your word says the mid rush. The verse in psalms tells us me, I'll HARA Shem who may ascend the mountain of God who may stand in his holy place. He who has clean hands and a pure heart who has not taken a false oath by my life, nor sworn the seat fully this four requirements to ascend. The mountain of God, Moses checked all boxes. What's the last? One. Of those instructions has not sworn falsely Moses swore to his father-in-law. I will not leave unless they get your permission. Even if God tells you to leave suppose JETRO said, no Moses would not have gone to Egypt. And in fact, this episode of Moses going to ask permission demonstrate that he's worthy of ascending. The mountain of God. So again, we see that the ends, even if the ends means the salvation of Jewish people do not necessarily justify the means, even if the means is only reneging on a promise that motion Dave to his father in law. Moshe travels back to Egypt. He rendezvous with his brother, Aaron they call a meeting of all the elders of Israel. They display all the miracles that God gave them and they had to pharaoh to knock on the palace doors demanding. That is we'll be sent free. And in chapter five verse one we read that Moses and Aaron came to pharaoh, but conspicuously absent are the elders. Everyone had re we're going to go to Farrell, but the elders didn't show up commentaries. Tell us rash. Rashi tells us that they all started marching to the palace and slowly. There was attrition. One of the elders laughed and the next one lab. Four stared in a go knock on the house of a desperate or go to Stalin's house not gonna door demand freedom. They'll chop off your head. At the end when they finally arrive to pharaoh, there's only two people left, Moses and Aaron. I think the showed us another element of great Jewish leader. Wants Moses knows he has the backing of God, he's not scared of anyone or anything. He goes over to pharaoh with gumption and Gaul with the security of knowing that God is with you. He doesn't fair pharaoh. He doesn't feel any man he only fears God, another characteristic of great Jewish leaders. Additionally, we see that Moses displayed superlative financial integrity. So for example, by the episode of the coal rock rebellion in the book of numbers. There is a suit off. There's a standoff where Cora and his contingency are going to make an offering to God Aaron's gonna make an offering to God. And whoever got accepts. That's the true priest and Moses start sprained. And he tells God do not turn to their offering not one donkey did I take from them. And I have not wrong any one of them. Commentaries. Explain what does it. What does this? No, most isn't even take one donkey what does that even mean Rashi and the various commentaries explain corner from the Talmud Moses, even when he was traveling on behalf of the Jewish people. He was traveling from Megyn to Egypt, for example, who pays for the transportation costs should have been the Jewish people. But Moses footed the Bill himself in addition over the course of everything that's happened. Never once did Moses tell any other person, why don't you carry this for me? Why don't you slap? This for me to do you? Just hold three. Never once. He didn't benefit at all from his Uniprix them personally benefited all financially from his role as the king as the leader of the Jewish people even willing to outlay from his own pocket the expenses that really should have been paid by the public. In addition. We're told that when Moses. Was going in and out of the tabernacle when they were soliciting huge amounts of of gold, silver and other precious materials to build the tabernacle. There was a huge storage household the gold Moses made sure that he had a garment that had no pockets when he walked in and out of that room to make it abundantly clear to everyone that Moses not siphon siphoning off any of the booty to show that if you're going to be a proper Jewish leader, you have to make sure that your hands are clean, you are free of any financial impropriety. And this sadly, not true today. There's lots of graft and lots of corruption and lots of pork and things like that. And even in a state of Israel. There was a line delivered by the prime minister of Israel in the nineteen sixties Levin stroll he was talking about. Representatives of the state of Israel when they had access to large coffers of money. He said listen a little bit. Of embezzlement. It's expected any even compared it to the midst of the Torah. There's amidst the Torah that when you are taking your ox the plow the field. You can muzzle the ox if the ox is working on the field. It has to be able to eat waltz working. Similarly, says Levin stroll will we have the representatives of the state of Israel a little bit of stealing from the state. That's the expect you tend muzzle them from that. That's not how we view great Jewish leader structures on the model of Moses complete total financial integrity. And there's other episode that really show how Moses was dedicated to the betterment in the benefit of the Jewish people. There were two episodes in particular with the Jewish people committed such egregious sins that God pronounce that he's the shore the Jewish people start from scratch with Moses as the leader and the founder of the nation. First episode, of course, in the end of the of the exodus is the episode of the golden calf after the golden calf. God says I'm done. I'm fed up. We're gonna start from scratch Moshe. You're the leader of the neutral neutrals and people and in the aftermath of the sin of the spies in the book of numbers chapter fourteen. Again, God says here's a godfather off for where start from scratch new nation. You are the founder of the new nation both times Moses rejects the offer does whatever it is. He can to save the Jewish people even. Going as far as telling God if you kill them. You kill me. If you destroy them erase me from your book that you have Rin. I don't want my handprints anywhere near anything. That's going to happen to the detriment of the Jewish people. And one of the last things that a great leader does is fines I successor. And in the book of numbers taps twenty-seven. Moses speaks out to God in a very unusual verse. And Moses spoke to God's saying the most common in the towers the opposite God spoke to Moses Saint here. It's Moses spoke to God Samed. What did he tell God? May God of all the living souls a point a man over the community. He gives a very unusual name for God. What does it mean? God of all the living souls, Sarah, she explains Moses says the God, you know, all the living souls, all of them are different not people resemble each other a point for them, a leader that can suffer and bear the pain of each individual. According to his personality. In Jewish parlance. The definition of Jewish leader is someone was able to identify suffer alongside the pain of every individual in their flock. That's well motion was and that's what he requested his successor b. Also were told continuing in that request. Moses asked for a leader who will go out before them and will come in before them. And Rashi explains that the there's two kinds of leaders you have kings who stay home in the palace in the safety and give directions to the army is at war. And then you have a Jewish teen. The Jewish team is on the front lines leading his nation in warfare. That's the way Moses was and that is the requirement that he demands of his successor someone who is going to be there at the front lines not in the safety not operating from the safety and security of of of the great distance from the front lines. And finally. We read the towers eulogy of Moses Moses dies and is only eight versus left in the Torah. And the last section of the Torah is dedicated to the Torres eulogy of Moses. Never again has there arisen in Israel Israelite prophet, like Moses whom God had known face to face as evidenced by all the signs and wonders that has Shems sent him to perform in the land of Egypt against Faroe and all his servants and all his land. And by all the strong hand, and the awesome power that Moses performed before the eyes of all of Israel lane, a coal, Israel, thus concludes the Toro. What is this last thing? This very last thing that were highlighting Moses life, all the miracles all the wonders all the signs that he did lend Egypt to pharaoh and to all his servants and to all the land. And with the last thing, we're told and by all the strong, hand and awesome power. Then Moses performed before the eyes of all of Israel. What was this thing that Moses did before the eyes of all of Israel? Sarai? She tells us that Moses was inspired to break the tablets in the aftermath of the golden calf. Moses, the sense from heaven holding two stone tablets Hyun by the hand of God bearing the ten commandments. He gets the for the mountain. He sees the revelry in the crowd celebrating the golden calf. He takes the two tablets throws them on the floor and breaks them to smithereens. Says the Torah the apex the zenith. The act me the ultimate example of Moses greatness was that he broke the tablets a decision that he did on his own without consulting with God. If we had to assess what does Moses his greatest accomplishment got the Torah took a satellite of Egypt. The last thing we're told about Moses the final departing message about his character. If he broke the tablets why because they sit in a FAI the essence of a great leader. The essence of a great leader is someone who's willing to forfeit their own legacy in favor of the benefit of their people. Moses was holding the most important artifact in all of human history. He had stones Hyun by God magical stones that he brought down from heaven. There is no greater testament to most moat Moses accomplishments, then his acquisition of those stones. And then he sees the Jewish people with the golden calf. And he's faced with the choice. What do you do? Do you? Keep the stones and forfeit the nation or do you forfeit the stones and try to save the nation? Remember, Moses ended up with a second set of tablets, the Jewish people had a second set of tablets. But Moses that annot that at the time he had to make a choice is it my legacy is it my role in history is it the tablets, or is it the potential of same the Jewish people. Nothing embodies Moses greatness and his accomplishments as as leader, then he took the stones through them on the ground shatter them to smithereens. And like we said there's a really a lot to talk about about with threat to Moses. But certainly we could say. That in Hebrew. And then the Talmudic parlance the name for a great person and the name for a large person is the same. In hebrew. A great person is a Dom gut dole alarm would literally needs a large person in Aramaic the language of the Talmud. A great person is the same as a large prison. God for Raba large person. The reason why those two are the same as because by definition, a Jewish leader is a large person because they are encompassing. The constituents within them. They're able to identify to expand themselves to include others within themselves and the larger a person is because the more people they encompass within the canopy of themselves, the greater the are. Our sages tell us that Moses was equal to all six hundred thousand juice. That's how big he was great. He was and you know, just to recap some of these characteristics. I think it's important to keep in mind. You know in our world where these ideas are may be seldomly displayed by our leaders. But it's important to to look at how we are presented of the ultimate greatest Jewish leader. Moses, we see from the beginning. His selfless caring feeling the pain of others identifying with them total commitment to the cause not even to the role is very happy. If someone else will fills the role, in fact, he would even prefer that. He's only the sacrifice himself. He's displayed financial integrity. His word is a gold not willing to trample upon anyone and anyone else's feelings to go one needs to get done done. And it's for these reasons amongst other reasons that Moses is the quintessential Jewish leader anything someone that we can learn a lot when we try to identify within ourselves with others. Good candidates for for Jewish leadership. And once again, don't forget to do one of five things for me, making the nation of torture bet award show, the podcast with a friend. Download listen or subscribe to another podcast give it a five star rating on I tunes. Or send me an Email at rabbi Welby, GMO dot com. I look forward to hang from you. Thanks for listening.

Coming up next