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Shemot 5782

December 20, 2021

Rabbi Geier


BS"D || Rabbi Geier

Shemot 5782

“A community in formation with a marked tendency to submit to situations of slavery is looking for a leader. Full - life dedication. Requirements: Adherence to the laws of the Jewish people (exclusive). Reflective ability, and decision in their judgments with a strong compassionate tendency to derive and execute."

This could have been the ad that was published in some newspaper of the time of our brothers in Egypt. Just a few days before the encounter of Moshe with the manifestation of God before him as was the Sneh Boer, the burning bush.

According to some commentators, THIS is the founding moment of Moshe's leadership. Moment in which a new leader was empowered, but beyond power, the test was also whether he was willing to get down to work, to be in the day-to-day life with this stubborn people. It was not only about having power as a leader, but about reaching each of the members of the people and taking them forward through one of the most complicated journeys in which, in addition, they had to grow, institutionalize and unite.

A process that had to be carried out with intelligence, with wisdom, but also with compassion and clear laws.

Perhaps the moment prior to the encounter with the envoy of God in the Bush, is the fundamental moment in this of differentiating the power of the new leader and the capacity of that leader to lead the people. The moment is when the Torah tells us that Moshe goes beyond the desert (achar hamidbar), to herd his father-in-law's sheep. It seems a vain and unimportant moment, but if we look at it with more analytical eyes, we will see that it is the previous one to the great meeting, and the exegesis does not leave it as an episode only descriptive of what Moshe was doing on a day that seemed to be common.

The question before us is why Moshe led his father-in-law's sheep to graze so far away. Rashi replies that Moshe was a law-abuser, and wanted to avoid getting into fights with potential neighboring inhabitants over pastures, and that he chose to stay away.

In turn, the Italian Sforno explains that the intention was simply to get away from the hustle and bustle of day to day to meditate. Get away and reflect.

Finally, it is the midrash of the Sefer Bereshit who adds that Moshe took care of the sheep and was concerned when he saw them thirsty and took them in the desert sensibly taking care of their needs, to which the Kadosh Baruch Hu stated that if he could take care of them with such care. the sheep of his father-in-law, surely he was going to be able to take care of his people.

The three skills that we required in the leader search notice were in Moshe's personality, and in his behavior. And it was THOSE characteristics that made him a leader who would be talked about and remembered by later generations. Not for being the chosen one of God, but for having managed to take over that role, that power, and make it his own with his own actions and merits.

The leader's cocktail, in the words of Rabbi Gustavo Surazski, is one that has a bit of a statesman, a bit of mystique, and a bit of a shepherd.

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