Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu (Shutterstock) (Shutterstock)

The Nation of Israel is a nation of leaders, with each individual leading his personal mission to benefit the entire nation.

This week’s Torah portion is “Devarim” (Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22), which begins the fifth and final book of the Torah – the book of Deuteronomy.

“Devarim” literally means “words” – the final words of Moses addressing the people, right before the Nation of Israel enters the Land of Israel.

The setting is in Jordan, opposite Jericho. The nation is aware that Moses is soon to die. What does a good leader do before he dies? He reviews the past with his people. He teaches his people the mistakes they’ve made and the lessons they’ve learned. He prepares them for the future. That’s exactly what Devarim is all about. It is Moshe’s last will and testament. His final sermon.

One of the items that Moses mentions in this sermon is “I am not able to bear the burden of this people alone!” (Deut 1:12) – pleading God for assistance in leading the Jewish people. What’s going on here? Did Moses think that he was not a competent or able leader? Is he reneging on his leadership? Is he forgetting that God works miracles through him? Does he think that he is no longer worthy?

The answer to all the above questions is no. Moses remained the same Moses from the beginning of his leadership right through till the end. But perhaps Moses was giving the people a little nudge, a wake-up call, a call to action. Sure, he was the leader, and as our sages teach us: “There will never be a leader as great as Moses”, but sometimes the leader needs some help. Sometimes a leader needs someone to share the burden of leadership. Sometimes a leader must delegate certain duties to those who are more fitting for the task than he.

The Nation of Israel is a nation of leaders, with each individual leading his personal mission to benefit the entire nation.

The United with Israel family is a community of leaders that stands with us here in Israel from all over the world. There are those among you who advocate for us in college campuses, at work, or in your place of worship. There are those of you who attend rallies, write letters, and educate those they see. And of course, there are those among you who come to visit us here in Israel and share in the glory of our land and our country.

To paraphrase Moses, we can’t do it alone. We need you. We need your support. Together we will triumph.

By: Rabbi Ari Enkin, Rabbinic Director, United with Israel

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