Leadership: Alpha-Male versus Alpha-Jew

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B”H 

We expect that the leader of a superpower would have the right traits:  He’d sit with knees apart and fingers in the steeple position, and, of course, be a great orator.  He’d self-assuredly tell us that if we throw him to the wolves, he’d come out the leader of the pack.  And he’d rightly tell off the biased leftist media “You’re fake news!”  That part of me that’s a 4th-5th generation American – and a proud “Deplorable” to boot – knows that those qualities are what we look for in a good POTUS.  We look for an Alpha-Male.

And then there’s Am Yisrael. 

Imagine how it would look to most today.  An eighty year old who stutters.  With all due respect (and I have more than just respect, as it’s part – No.7 actually – of my Ani Ma’amin), Moshe Rabbenu would not be perceived as the kind of leader who could face the king of the greatest superpower of the world of then, the Pharaoh of Egypt.  In fact, by all standards of leadership taught, he wouldn’t fit the criterion of “leader”.

Moshe over and over asks Hashem to rethink sending him.  Moshe is not even sure Am Yisrael will accept him and believe in him.  And having a lisp means he can’t even convey Hashem’s message to Pharaoh even if he wanted to.  Moreover, Hashem wants to send in Moshe to show Pharaoh signs and feats, many of which the sorcerers of Egypt could second, in the very land of magic and sorcery.

But Hashem has a different set of criteria for leadership and for what makes an “Alpha-Jew”.  Hashem has Aaron go do the actual speaking so Moshe doesn’t have to.  Pointedly, it’s Moshe that Hashem picks, and orders (Bresheet 6: 13) to lead – and this to be the greatest leadership mission of all time. 

The character trait that Hashem, in His Torah, emphasizes as THE trait that impressed Him the most and that is proof of Moshe’s leadership skills: “And the man Moshe is the most HUMBLE of all men” (BaMidbar 12: 3).

Later on, even someone on the elevated level as Shmuel could not understand Hashem’s decision-making basis for choosing a leader, when he was sent to see Ishay’s sons.  When young David the shepherd was brought out, Shmuel, basically in shock, asks, “Oy veysmir, Hashem!  You want a red-head to be king of Israel?!  Gevalt!”

But then, what a great king and leader King David turned out to be!

Who needs Alpha when we have Aleph! – and Aleph always represents Alufo shel olam: The Champion of the World, Hashem.

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