Divrei Torah

The Divrei Torah in this section have been translated by Rav Reuven Ungar, Director of Alumni Affairs

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Sfat HaGan - Leadership for the Community and the Individual

By: Rav Aryeh Hendler

The Sfat Emet on the parsha, with commentary and analysis from Rav Aryeh Hendler, Sgan Rosh Yeshivat Sha'alvim.

The Midrash (Bamidbar Raba 21:2) describes the uniqueness of each individual. Appointing a leader projects the complex relationship that exists between the community and the individual. Leadership primarily relates to the community. Yet, the leader must recognize the fact that the community is comprised of various individuals- each with his own aspirations and abilities.

Hashem is aware of the different constitutions of each and every individual. This knowledge is expressed by the term Sha-dai- sheyesh day be'Elukoto lechol briya (that He has enough G-dliness for every creature). Obviously, Hashem does not possess physical properties. The intention is that the G-dliness of the Creator is manifested within each individual in a manner appropriate with the unique qualities of that person.

A Jewish Leader must be attuned to the needs and capabilities of every Jew; within the general framework of the Jewish People.

This concept finds expression in the realms of space, time and the psyche (ashan- olam, shana, nefesh). The special spiritual infusion (neshama yeteyra) of the Shabbat is bequeathed to the entire Jewish People. Nevertheless, each individual merits the neshama yeteyra that he is capable and worthy of receiving. The Jewish People receive the Land of Israel; however every Jew receives the portion of the Land appropriate to himself ("for these people you shall divide the Land.." (Bamidbar 26:53). Indeed, the Midrash (Bamidbar Raba, 21:9), relates that the lots (goral) would yell "I am the portion of the Tribe of. .and I belong to ..!")-  a specific plot of land  was appropriate for each individual.

The leadership qualities of Moshe and Yehoshua complemented each other; both Moshe and Yehoshua provided components necessary for successful leadership. Moshe focused on the community; his leadership is symbolized by the sun- a lone force that provides light to all without distinctions. Yehoshua- who divided the land to the various tribes-represented leadership focused upon individuals. This is represented by the moon, which operates in conjunction with the stars and provides light of various intensities.


Categorized under: 1: Parshat Shavua > Pinchas
Uploaded: 7/11/2006 12:27:36 PM