Can Jewish Leaders Work Together?

by | Apr 1, 2016 | 0 comments

We are waiting for the Shechina to come down. It’s not happening!

What can we do?

“And it came to pass on the eighth day of inauguration of the Mishkan”

Six Parshios and at least 12 difficult tractates of the Talmud are dedicated to getting us ready for this great moment. There were so many things that we needed to know. How do we build the Mishkan? What are its dimensions, what materials, craftsmanship, design and engineering? Who is a kosher Kohein? What are the qualifications, physical impediments and spiritual attitudes that we need to be familiar with? What should the Kohein wear? We learned about complicated weavery, engravings, gems that light up, and purification processes.

There are so many different sacrifices to learn about. The rich, the poor, the thankful, the sinner and the plain Jew celebrating a holiday, all have laws that are particular to their time and situation. The laws were studied and reviewed, the Mishkan was built, everyone purified themselves, got dressed up, eight days of inauguration took place, it was Rosh Chodesh Nissan – the day-Hashem created the world- “and it came to pass on the eighth day” everything finally came together and–

It didn’t work!

Nothing happened! What ever was supposed to happen, didn’t happen. Could you just imagine the hush, the disappointment and the anticlimactic emotions that must have overtaken the people? They had given their gold, their jewelry and their sweat to this moment and it didn’t work. It was as if G-d had ignored the whole project!

Moshe entered into the Ohel Moed to investigate. He spoke to Aharon – we don’t know exactly what they said in this parley – but they came out of the Ohel Moed hand in hand and everything started to happen. They blessed the people together, all the people saw the glory of Hashem, a fire came down from Heaven and consumed the sacrifices, the people began to sing praises to Hashem, and the people fell on their faces and prayed. It worked!

They had found the missing piece. All the technicalities G-d had asked for was in place except for one thing; Moshe and Aharon had to come together. They were partners – two halves of a whole- that needed to connect. When they embraced, the circuit was completed. The Heavens opened up and released friendly fire. Our goal was achieved.

Moshe and Aharon were partners with two very different job descriptions. Moshe’s job was to bring G-d to the people; Aharon’s job was to bring the people to G-d. G-d and the people had to meet half way – in the Mishkan. Moshe and Aharon had to hug.

With all the individual greatness of Moshe and Aharon they were each walking with one leg. Together they created a model for partnership that has the ability to bring forth the Shechina. A model we must follow.

Yet bonding is not easy. It couldn’t have been easy for Moshe and Aharon who were working in two different directions, one going upward one pulling downward, one with Shalom one with din, one watching from a mountain the other from a valley. The only way they could bond would be with selflessness and love.

It happens all to often even in our days. Different leaders have different tasks. They are wired differently to meet different challenges. I often think about how impossible it would be for leaders to change roles with each other. We need all kinds. Yet, if each department head in Klal Yisroel works in a vacuum – if we work in a vacuum – the Shechina will never join us.

Moshe and Aharon are the model we must follow to bring peace and Shechina into the world.

By Rabbi Yaacov Haber

Rabbi Yaacov Haber has been a leading force in Jewish community and Jewish education for over forty years. He lived and taught in the United States, Australia and in Israel. He is presently the Rav of Kehillas Shivtei Yeshurun, a vibrant community in the center of Ramat Bet Shemesh, Israel, and serves as the Rabbinic guide to many of its wonderful organisations.


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