Sunday, June 4, 2017

Management Lessons --1 Parashat Naso

This week’s parasha Naso contains (among other ideas) more on the census,  laws of the Nazarite vows, the priestly blessing, and laws of some sacrifices or offerings. The priestly blessing is what we use as part of the hazzan’s repetition of the Amidah and the Kohanim (priests) say it one Yom Tov (Ashkenazi diaspora minhag) in front of the shul. The blessing asks God to bless us and make peace. 
Image result for priestly blessing 
The Nazirite takes a vow to not drink wine (or any grape product) or vinegar, not to shave or cut his hair and devote himself to the LORD.

The management lesson is that humans are always dependent on God.  The priestly blessing is like a crown on the sacred order of the Israelite world.  The Israelites left Egypt, built the Tabernacle and now they are making the journey to the Land of Israel.  The blessing for is for life, health, prosperity and peace.  All important parts of successful human experience.  No matter how hard we work at keeping peace, the divine blessing is always pushing us in the right direction.

While there are no Biblical Nazarites today, what would happen if a member of the organization took on the restrictions mentioned in  this parasha?  The person separates him/herself from the group so that they can concentrate on matters beyond the forces within the self or the organization.  The person withdraws from the political, sociological, or conflicting forces within. Perhaps the person wants wisdom that others do not see. The person refrains from wine and other liquor to both separate himself that aspect of culture and to make sure his/her mind is not clouded. Perhaps the person can recognize the isolation of the "ivory tower" and see new ways to solve problems?

The Nazarite vow is a mixed message to the management of the organization.  On one side the person recognizes s/he needs to self-examine what is wrong and try to fix themselves on the other hand this person removes himself from the group or team process.  At the end of the Biblical vow,  sacrifices are required.  One of these offerings is a sin-offering.

 I leave the question open – is this vow of exclusion something good or bad for the organization?

June 2017

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