Counting the Omer Day 45: Tiferet of Malchut

Tiferet of MalchutTiferet of Malchut. Compassion of sovereignty/leadership.

One of my daughters is studying for her Tanakh bagrut (Bible portion of her matriculation exams) and last night I was studying with her (any excuse to study Torah with my kids!) and the subject was “leadership.” We were looking at Exodus chapter 2 to see if we could find reasons why Moses was chosen for his leadership role.

One of the things that’s very clear is Moses had true compassion. Very specifically, he had a kind of compassion that does seem to be the balance between love and judgment, which is what tiferet represents.

He sees an Egyptian man striking a Hebrew slave, and his compassion is aroused – he intervenes, killing the Egyptian. He sees two Hebrews arguing, and his care and concern cause him to intervene, he sees that one of them is wicked and he comes to the defense of the other. The next episode is when he helps a Midianite woman (his future wife) water her flock.

Compassion is a critical trait for a leader. There are elements of leadership that are simply a gift – an ability to get people to follow you. But leadership without compassion is dangerous. Hitler, may his name be erased, was a leader without compassion. Gandhi, on the other hand, was a leader with great compassion. The world needs more leaders like Gandhi and Moses. Leaders full of compassion.

But even in our lives, on smaller scales, we can strive to emulate the great leaders. To lead others for the sake of others – not for the sake of personal gain.


Barry Leff

Rabbi Barry (Baruch) Leff is a dual Israeli-American business executive, teacher, speaker and writer who divides his time between Israel and the US.

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