Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Chayei Sara/ Bo 75 Modern Leadership

The reason why the Israelites had to eat the Korban Pesach – the Pesach sacrifice  ' in haste = be'chipazon ' and in a state of readiness to leave ואכלתם אתו- קרבן פסח – בחיפזון  - שמות 12:11
 is because the departure from Egypt would be in such speed, haste and without any delay .In fact their dough did not have enough time to rise, nor did the Israelites have time to make any other provisions.  

The ' chipazon ha'shechina' and ' me'hirut ha'shechinah', God's speed and haste in bringing about the redemption can be compared to a train suddenly appearing and all those who want freedom have to make sure that they get onto the train and don't get left behind. God was in exile with the Israelites in Egypt and when He left, the people had to make sure that they were ready to leave with God and not be left behind. God in a sense moves on and runs ahead and we have to make sure that we are with God. Rabbeinu Yeruchum says that this idea – the chipazon ha'shechinah = the speed and haste of the Divine Presence is mentioned by Eliezer, the servant of Abraham. Eliezer   cannot accept   Rivkah's =Rebecca's staying on for some time with her family and then going to marry Isaac. Eliezer says to Rivkah's family – Gen 24:56 'do not delay me now that God has made my journey successful'.ויאמר אליהם אל תאחרו אתי וה' הצליח דרכי

What has the fact that God has made Eliezer's journey and mission a success got to do with not delaying and moving on. God has made Eliezer's journey successful by going ahead of Eliezer, leading and guiding him to success. If he delays any longer, God will have moved ahead and Eliezer would then miss the train.

In the light of our understanding of God's ' chipazon' – speed and haste, Rabeinu Yeruchum interprets the Mishnah from Pirkei Avot 2:21 in a novel way. - Rabbi Tarfon says- the day is short, the task is abundant, the workers are lazy, the pay /wage are great and the Boss is insistent and urgent.
אבות 2:21        רַבִּי טַרְפוֹן אוֹמֵר, הַיּוֹם קָצֵר וְהַמְּלָאכָה מְרֻבָּה, וְהַפּוֹעֲלִים עֲצֵלִים, וְהַשָּׂכָר הַרְבֵּה, וּבַעַל הַבַּיִת דּוֹחֵק:
Rabeinu Yeruchum says that the Boss is not standing over his workers and demanding productivity. Like a modern manager, the Boss is setting an example and running ahead = דוחק The workers have to catch up with their Boss.

The verse from the Song of Songs 1:4  says -draw me; we will run after youשיר השירים  - משכני, אחריך נרוצה. If God is drawing his people close to Him, why do they have to run after Him?  If we want to be with God, feel his Divine Presence we have to appreciate the ' chipazon Hashem – God's haste and speed and make sure we are there moving ahead with him.  We need to act with zeri'zut, zeal, drive, passion and with momentum in order to connect with the divine presence.

The ideal parents and teachers are said to be those that are demanding of kids so they achieve the highest standards and achievements in their academics, social and sports activities. Maybe parents and teachers should try to be less demanding and more authoritative, so that kids seek relationship and guidance. Kids will say ' Draw me and we will run after you '.  It is because of the parents and teacher's personalities, drive, joy and passion for what they do that kids want to join in with them. Parents and teachers set an example and get kids involved with them. They allow kids to participate in the decision making process. They understand that responsibility comes from making decisions and not by following instructions. The kids then feel self-directed and autonomous, displaying zeri'zut, drive and passion for what they do.

We can learn from God's Leadership – ' chipazon Hashem', that leaders don't demand from others or push from behind, but they are running ahead, leading from the front. When kids experience such leadership they cannot but want to join in and follow the leader. 

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