AJFCA Member Login

D'Var Torah

March 25, 2016

I understand that politicians need to make a case for themselves to get elected. And, certainly it takes some amount of self-confidence and ego to project the kind of person we want in our leaders. But, how much self-promotion is too much? How much vanity should we tolerate, instead of the reliance on the strengths of others?   

In the Haftorah to this week's parashah, Tzav, the prophet Jeremiah admonishes the people for their faults that will bring forth the crumbling of their society and the Temple. He admonishes and then we hear his words of possibility:

    Thus said the Lord:
    Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom;
    Let not the strong man glory in his strength;
    Let not the rich man glory in his riches.
    But only in this should one glory:
    In his earnest devotion to Me.
    For I the Lord act with kindness,
    Justice and equity in the world;
    For in these I delight.

Even if one does not have a deep belief in the Divine, there is a lesson in these words. We must go beyond the reliance on and egotism of the self.  Look to the greater meanings, our universal and community values. An important component of leadership is humility - the willingness to listen to and rely on others for their wisdom and knowledge. This spirit of collaboration is how we build a strong society. Let's hope that the leaders we elect will model these words.

Shabbat Shalom

Lee I. Sherman