Covenant & Conversation

  • Masei (5774) – Leadership at Time of Crisis

    The parsha of Masei always occurs at the heart of the Three Weeks. This is the time when we engage in an act of collective recall of our two greatest defeats as a nation. The symbol of the nation was… read more

  • Mattot (5774) – Conflict Resolution

    One of the hardest tasks of a leader – from prime ministers to parents – is conflict resolution. Yet it is also the most vital. Where there is leadership, there is long-term cohesiveness within the group, whatever the short-term problems.… read more

  • Pinchas (5774) – Lessons of a Leader

    Pinhas contains a mini-essay on leadership, as Moses confronts his own mortality and asks God to appoint a successor. The great leaders care about succession. In Chayei Sarah we see Abraham instruct his servant to find a wife for Isaac… read more

  • Balak (5774) – Leadership and Loyalty

    Is leadership a set of skills, the ability to summon and command power? Or does it have an essentially moral dimension also? Can a bad man be a good leader, or does his badness compromise his leadership? That is the… read more

  • Chukkat (5774) – Miriam, Moses’ Friend

    It is one of the great mysteries of the Torah. Arriving at Kadesh the people find themselves without water. They complain to Moses and Aaron. The two leaders go to the Tent of Meeting and there they are told by… read more

  • Korach (5774) – Servant Leadership

    “You have gone too far! The whole community are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is with them. Why then do you set yourselves above God’s congregation?” (Num. 16: 3).
    What exactly was wrong in what Korach and… read more

  • Shelach Lecha (5774) – Confidence

    It was perhaps the single greatest collective failure of leadership in the Torah. Ten of the spies whom Moses had sent to spy out the land came back with a report calculated to demoralize the nation.
    “We came to the… read more

  • Beha’alotcha (5774) – Power or Influence?

    There is a lovely moment in this week’s parsha that shows Moses at the height of his generosity as a leader. It comes after one of his deepest moments of despair. The people, as is their wont, have been complaining,… read more

  • Naso (5774) – The Politics of Envy

    Few things in the Torah are more revolutionary than its conception of leadership.
    Ancient societies were hierarchical. The masses were poor and prone to hunger and disease. They were usually illiterate. They were used by rulers as a means to… read more

  • Bamidbar (5774) – Leading a Nation of Individuals

    The book of Bamidbar begins with a census of the Israelites. That is why it is known in English as Numbers. What is the significance of this act of counting? And why here at the beginning of the book? Besides… read more