Covenant & Conversation

  • Shoftim (5774) – Learning and Leadership

    The parsha of Shoftim is the classic source of the three types of leadership in Judaism, called by the sages the “three crowns”: of priesthood, kingship and Torah.[1] This is the first statement in history of the principle, set out… read more

  • Re’eh (5774) – Defining Reality

    One of the gifts of great leaders, and one from which each of us can learn, is that they frame reality for the group. They define its situation. They specify its aims. They articulate its choices. They tell us where… read more

  • Eikev (5774) – To Lead is to Listen

    “If only you would listen to these laws …” (Deut. 7: 12). These words with which our parsha begins contain a verb that is a fundamental motif of the book of Devarim. The verb is sh-m-a. It occurred in last… read more

  • Va’etchanan (5774) – The Fewest of all Peoples

    Buried inconspicuously in this week’s parsha is a short sentence with explosive potential, causing us to think again about the nature of Jewish history and the Jewish task in the present.
    Moses had been reminding the new generation, the children… read more

  • Devarim (5774) – The Leader as Teacher

    It was one of the great moments of personal transformation, and it changed not only Moses but our very conception of leadership itself.
    By the end of the book of Bamidbar, Moses career as a leader seemed to have come… read more

  • 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