Covenant & Conversation

  • Acharei Mot (5774) – Sprints and Marathons

    It was a unique, unrepeatable moment of leadership at its highest height. For forty days Moses had been communing with God, receiving from him the law written on tablets of stone. Then God informed him that the people had just… read more

  • Metsorah (5774) – How To Praise

    The sages were eloquent on the subject of lashon hara, evil speech, the sin they took to be the cause of tsara’at, the subject of this week’s parsha. But there is a meta-halakhic principle: “From the negative you can infer… read more

  • Tazria (5774) – The Price of Free Speech

    Hannah Smith was a fourteen-year-old schoolgirl living in Lutterworth, Leicestershire. Bright and outgoing, she enjoyed an active social life and seemed to have an exciting future ahead of her. On the morning of 2 August 2013 Hannah was found hanged… read more

  • Shemini (5774) – Reticence vs. Impetuosity

    It should have been a day of joy. The Israelites had completed the mishkan, the sanctuary. For seven days Moses had made preparations for its consecration.[1] Now on the eighth day – the first of Nisan,[2] one year to the… read more

  • Tzav (5774) – On Not Trying To Be What You Are Not

    The great leaders know their own limits. They do not try to do it all themselves. They build teams. They create space for people who are strong where they are weak. They understand the importance of checks and balances and… read more

  • Vayikra (5774) – The Sins of a Leader

    Leaders make mistakes. That is inevitable. So, strikingly, our parsha implies. The real issue is how he or she responds to those mistakes.
    The point is made by the Torah in a very subtle way. Our parsha deals with sin… read more

  • Pekudei (5774) – Celebrate

    If leaders are to bring out the best in those they lead, they must give them the chance to show they are capable of great things, and then they must celebrate their achievements. That is what happens at a key… read more

  • Vayakhel (5774) – Team-Building

    How do you remotivate a demoralized people? How do you put the pieces of a broken nation back together again? That was the challenge faced by Moses in this week’s parsha.
    The key word here is vayakhel, “Moses gathered.” Kehillah… read more

  • Ki Tissa (5774) – How Leaders Fail

    Leaders can fail for two kinds of reason. The first is external. The time may not be right. The conditions may be unfavourable. There may be no one on the other side to talk to. When British Prime Minister Harold… read more

  • Tetzaveh (5774) – The Counterpoint of Leadership

    One of the most important Jewish contributions to our understanding of leadership is its early insistence of what, in the eighteenth century, Montesquieu called “the separation of powers.” Neither authority nor power was to be located in a single individual… read more