Friday, March 27, 2015

Pesah and Wisdom

Pesah and Wisdom
This is the week before Pesah and this Shabbat is Shabbat ha-gadol.  Since Nisan is the first of the months, I am preparing a longer article on the calendar.  After Pesah we start reading from Perke Avot and I want to discuss a few management ideas found there.

Communication and trust are concepts that encourage people to work hard.  Arcane rules and busy work make people more concerned with the following the rules.  Rabbi Shammai in Perke Avot 1:15 tells us to “say little and do much.”  For some people words escape from one’s mouth easily. One can spend too much time talking and too little time doing.  An action leading to an accomplishment is more effective than endless chatter.  Bright people do not require elaborate explanations.  They have the intuition and power of analysis to figure things out.  This is not a science.  Sometimes the neophyte needs an explanation of all the steps.  That is the learning process.  Eventually the mature learner needs only to be pointed in the right direction.  Never use 100 words, when 10 is sufficient.

Rabbi Shimon in PA 1:17 reminds us that deeds are more essential than study. This does not tell us to act without thinking or preparation, but tells us not to lose sight as to what is the ikar (essence) and what is the road leading to the ikar. He is not telling us to not study, but the message is never forget that reason for learning is to perform the deed.

Knowledge is getting the right information from the right people or sources in a timely manner.  Getting people to act, to perform deeds, and complete projects is the management process based on knowledge. Knowledge is the basis for action.    Wisdom is the use of experience, knowledge and previous actions so that new problems and challenges can be solved.  Wisdom is the basis for strategic decisions.  Making wise choices should be a source of gratification for us.

The Pesah seder gives us an opportunity to perform actions after all our preparations.  The symbols of the holiday on the sedar plate and in our food are a constant reminder that words lead to deeds and study leads to proper correct actions.  May the wisdom we gain empower us to do mitvot and other good things.

Hag samah v'kasher.

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