The Need for Leadership


A true leader sets asides his own selfish wants and desires so the leader can totally identify with the people he is leading. The leader’s devotion to the people he becomes a conduit for G-d to work through to provide all of us with our material needs and spiritual needs.

The Rebbe explains: “The medieval sage Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki (known universally by his initials as “Rashi”) points out that the Torah says that Moses sent messengers to Edom but that Israel sent messengers to Sichon, even though in both cases Moses sent the messengers on behalf of all the Jewish people. As Rashi notes, this teaches us that Moses and the Jewish people are essentially equivalent. The true Jewish leader does not just represent the people, he is one with them in essence. His affairs are not divided into his private and public lives. He is a public servant to his very core.

The true Jewish leader’s total identification with his people and his selfless devotion to them makes him the conduit through which G‑d provides all their material and spiritual needs. Therefore, not only is he one with them: they are one with him. As such, they can rise to his perspective on reality and share his Divine consciousness and his inspired life, even if they have not yet refined themselves enough to be worthy of these on their own.1