Judaism: True Leadership: For Such a Time as This
Moshe KempinskiMoshe Kempinski, author of "The Teacher and the Preacher", is the editor of the Jerusalem Insights weekly email journal and co-owner of Shorashim, a Biblical shop and learning center in the Old City of Jerusalem.
"Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way as ye came forth out of Egypt; how he happened upon thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee,all that were enfeebled in thy rear, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not G-d." Deuteronomy 25:17-18
Actually the reality of the story of Purim is in fact the reality of our world. The name of the scroll of Esther, Megillat Esther, hints at this with the word play based on the words Gilui HaHester, "revealing that which is hidden." Much is hidden in the scroll of Esther. The newly crowned queen, Esther, hides the roots of her faith and her people. Mordechai sits undetected at the gates of Shushan and overhears the plot against King Ahashverosh. Haman the descendant of Amalek throws lots to determine the fate of the Jewish people in a continuation of his ancestral passion to introduce randomness into history.
The only way to break through all these veils and layers of confusion is to adopt the lessons of personal or corporate leadership taught in this week's Torah portion, Tetzaveh (ibid 27:20-30:10) , where we read the detailed description of the priestly garments. Two of these articles of clothing were the stones attached to the shoulders of the Kohen and those that were embedded in his Hoshen- Breastpate.
"And the stones ( of the breastplate) shall be according to the names of the children of Israel , twelve, according to their names; like the engravings of a signet, every one according to his name, they shall be for the twelve tribes. ( ibid 28:21)
Regarding one we read "...and Aaron shall bear their names before HaShem upon his two shoulders for a memorial . (ibid 28:12)
In one case the Priest, representative of Jewish leadership , carries the burden of his people on his shoulders .In the other the leader carries them over his heart. The physical needs and concerns of a people must be carried and supported on the shoulders of true leadership.
Those two concerns empower individuals and leaders to reach beyond the veils of fear and darkness. It is those two ideals that return the power of discernment. This must be the purpose of every leader .It is the challenge given to every individual as well.
Queen Esther had to make a decision of leadership. She was safely ensconced in the royal house yet she carried the burden of her people on her shoulders and just as importantly over her heart. She then stood forward and grabbed the reigns of destiny. That option remains available to all who want to become part of destiny. Only then will the veil imposed by Amalek be truly erased.