Parshas VaEira - A Leader Seeking Power

By BJLife/Rabbi Binyamin Zedner

Posted on 01/11/18

Today is the yartzeit of my rebbi, Ha Rav Asher Zelig Rubenstein, zt”l; this is L’iluy nishmaso. 

‘’And the almighty spoke to Moshe and Aaron and he commanded them about the children of Israel’’ shmos 6:13

Rashi comments that Hakadosh baruch Chu commanded Moshe and Aaron to lead Beni Yisroel gently and to have patience in dealing with them. This concept, is a lesson for any person in a position of leadership. Whenever a person is in a position of authority, they must be very careful not to get angry at the people being dealt with. Watch out not to scream and shout. The reward for a leader who has this patience is very great.

A leader who is seeking power for his own ego will demand people to listen to him and become angry quicker causing him to shout and yell at people. Due to him feeling disrespected from people not showing him the honor he feels that he deserves. In regards to such an individual chazal explain that the person who runs after honor, honor will run away him. In order to be called a good leader in the eyes of the torah an individual needs to run away from honor. The person’s goal should be for the betterment of Beni Yisroel. In that merit he will become a leader like Moshe Rabenu. By having this mindset, the person will be more patient and gentle with others and with his own family.

 They once told over about My Rosh yeshiva, Rabbi Asher zelig Rubenstein ztl the he was in a shiur by Harav Moshe Spaior ztl who said before the shiur that if someone phone goes off then shiur will not go on. Someones phone went off. The Rav asked whose phone was it and my Rosh yeshiva said it was his phone that rang. Later when my Rosh yeshiva past away during the shiva someone told over this story and at the end the person said it was his phone that went off and not the Rosh yeshivas. We see from here the Rosh yeshiva did not care about his own honor rather he cared for the honor of another Yid in the nation of  Beni Yisroel and this is one aspect which made him a great leader.