Leadership As a Balancing Act

No other Biblical character so often subordinated his own will to serve both Israel and its God as Moses did.

October 7, 2011 11:06
4 minute read.
Art depicting Moses

Moses art 521 (do not use). (photo credit: AVI KATZ)


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NO MATTER HOW STEADFASTLY MOSES tried to serve as his people’s champion, his people never learned to rely on his loyalty to them.

Though he risked everything when he killed an Egyptian taskmaster for beating an Israelite slave, the Israelites who witnessed his actions rebuked him as an overlord, not as their protector. Though he fled to Midian as a fugitive from Pharaoh’s vengeance, his hosts labeled him first and foremost an Egyptian. One midrash even cites Moses’ failure to correct Jethro’s daughters when they described him to their father as an Egyptian as the reason that Moses was eventually denied entry into the Promised Land (Tanhuma B. II, 134).


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