Torah for this Hour | January 4, 2024

“Take My people, the Children of Israel, out from Egypt.” That is the order that Moses receives from God at the burning bush. To be the sole leader, the liberator. Who would pass up such an honor?

And yet Moses refuses. He says to God: “Who am I that I should go?”

And what happens after that? “Moses and Aaron went and gathered all the elders of the House of Israel.” Moses remains insistent — and forms a team.

If Moses turns down the chance to be the Holy One’s sole representative and starts the process of leaving Egypt working with partners, how much more so is that the right model for our present leadership … Today, when we are playing the price for a leadership of “I … me … mine,” we must ensure that the rebuilt leadership of our society and our country will be a group comprising a range of voices. That is the way to strengthen our security and restore Israel’s social fabric.

It is no accident that the book of Exodus that opens a new stage in the history of the Israelites, their emergence as a nation, begins with the plural “Now these are the names …”

Like Moses, we must be insistent that only through partnership and broad participation will we prevail.