Vaera – Thoughts on the Perasha

In the Perashat Shemot which we read last week, there is an ending with a short note; giving prelude to this week’s Perashat Vaera. Moshe and Aharon are indicted by their people for their “Failed Leadership” in reducing and mitigating the burden of slavery placed upon the Israelites. They in fact, were accused of worsening the situation by making the Israelites “abhorrent in the eyes of Pharaoh and his servants…” In turn Moshe indicts G-d for His “Failed Leadership” when he accuses G-d of “causing evil to the people and not rescuing them”. Of course G-d tells Moshe that “now you will see what I shall do to Pharaoh, for through a strong hand he will send them out and through a strong hand he will chase them out of his land”.

The rest of the story we know well. It took seven plagues in this Perasha and three more in the next, plus a total devastation of Egypt, until Pharaoh and his people finally let the Israelites leave. The leadership of Moshe in Egypt was never questioned again, although it was questioned plenty in the desert. The leadership of G-d was never questioned again by Moshe, although the People did indeed question it in the desert.  The plan for the redemption from Egypt was in place even though the People were not able to see it at the beginning; they despaired and felt a failure in leadership.

Many times, our spectrum of vision is very narrow and we are not able to see the totality of one’s life span. But, since the leadership of Moshe, there have been many failed leaders and also leaders that failed in their responsibilities.  The Bible and the history of the world are replete with such failed leaders. Lessons that could have been well learned were overlooked and the same mistakes are often repeated.

We live in an era, where we are witnessing one of the worst example of ‘failed leadership’. Unfortunately, The many world organizations that have been established decades ago, have lacked the fortitude and courage to lead in an honest and truthful way. The leadership looks for positions of popularity instead of taking the responsibility to lead and making the correct decisions. The world will be served better by honest and transparent leadership. And not by a leadership that are followers , and not leaders,

The failed leadership of Pharaoh proved to be devastating to Egypt and its people.A god leadership would have saved their country and their people.

How important it is as a leader to take that responsibility- just as Moshe did, steadfast in defense of the People of Israel and their welfare.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Elie Abadie, M.D.

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