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This week’s Torah portion offers us the opportunity ask ourselves what being a leader means to us. Who are the leaders around us?

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

This week’s Torah portion is “Bamidbar” (Numbers 1:1 – 4:40), and with it we begin the Book of Numbers.

The word “Bamidbar,” which is the name of the Book of Numbers in Hebrew, means “in the desert.” As the title indicates, this book focuses on the events of the 40 years that the Jewish people spent wandering in the desert.

As noted, this fourth book of the Torah is known as the “Book of Numbers” in English, and that’s because we find that God has the Jewish people counted a number of times while in the desert. In the first of these many censuses, Gold tells Moses to gather a leader from each of the tribes.

As the verse says, “And with you shall be one man from each tribe; a man who is a leader…” As such, this week’s Torah portion offers us a unique opportunity to focus on being a leader.

While others could have fulilled important leadership roles, there was only one person from each tribe worthy of being recognized as the leader. The Torah thus implies that a leader is not merely a “manager” or CEO. The jobs might be similar, but not many merit the title.

What is the difference between a leader and a CEO?

It is explained that a person can never decide to become a leader on his own. A leader is usually acclaimed by the people who request his leadership, by the people he wants to lead. As they say, there is no king without a crown. So, too, there is no leader without willing followers.

Every person has the potential to become a leader in a very real way. Whether in the office, the home, the synagogue or the school, we have the ability to influence others and make positive changes.

How Do YOU Become a Leader?

A person who is enthusiastic will have followers. A person who is happy will have followers. A person who is positive will have followers. A person who compliments others will have followers. A person who has energy, initiative, and drive will have followers. When people see these traits, they become attracted to the personality and become open to receiving his or her leadership.

Good leadership can make a positive difference in peoples’ lives. Those who whine and complain repel others.

This week’s Torah portion offers us the opportunity ask ourselves what being a leader means to us. Who are the leaders around us? Who are the people to whom we are attracted? Who are the people we avoid, and why?

Spend a few moments thinking about it and you will have tips on how to become a leader yourself!

For more insights on the week’s Torah portion, click on the links below:






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