Saturday, January 25, 2020

Parashat Va'era 2020

Parashat Va'era

This portion begins with the second part of the coercion of Moshe to be the leader of the Jewish people.  God speaks to Moshe about the promised redemption reaffirms the covenant established with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  Moshe, an 80 year old, was thrust into the role by a direct connection to God. Many years earlier his innate sense of justice would not allow the mistreatment of others.  After he killed an Egyptian, Moshe was forced to flee to Midian, where he became a shepherd, married, and raised a family.  Without being called by God, Moshe would have been a happy shepherd living with his family.  God promised the redemption of the Hebrew slaves and appeals to Moshe to act as sense of duty to his ancestors.

Often today we complain about the lack of leadership.  My messages about management are supposed to point the reader to understand better ways of dealing with management, leadership, and organizations.  We need to search for people of knowledge, wisdom, tenacity, determination, and most importantly high moral values (in words and action) to lead us.  Leader must be willing to take a chance on the finding the greater good, not just follow the current survey or political poll. 

God refuted every excuse the Moshe could offer.  He said leadership was for a younger person.  Moshe was invigorated and was taught how to become Moshe Rabbeinu (our teacher). The story of how he learned the role is not found in the narrative of the Torah.  With God and the people behind him perhaps the road to redemption would be smooth sailing?  It wasn't.  God had to visit plagues on the Egyptians.  Six of the plagues are in this Torah portion.

The business lesson is that we have to follow the model of Moshe.  He was modest and one of the people.  He didn't want be the leader or the great teacher.  This reminds me of former President Dwight Eisenhower.  He went from being a colonel to supreme allied commander of the European theater during World War II in less than 3.5 years.  He was not the top student at West Point.  He did attract the attention of General George Marshall.  General Marshall kept a black book with the names of promising officers who were dependable and possessed strong skills in logistical and strategic thinking. Eisenhower and his mentors Fox Conner and Marshal were able to think out of the narrow silo day-to-day army life.

God recognized Moshe's inner psyche, intelligence, and talents and thrust into leadership.  Moshe was able to think strategically beyond daily like.  We are limited in out analysis of his personality because the Torah is not a personal diary. We see the results as Moshe went before Pharaoh to plead the case of the Hebrews. After the Exodus he became the great teacher, who learned from God directly and interpreted the Torah and Divine law.  We, like Moshe, can challenge, question, and even argue with God, our leaders, and teachers.  We have to learn the lesson and think strategically beyond today.  Ultimately, we must accept our mission to bring truth, justice, and righteousness into the world.