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We are all in Essence Hashem’s Ambassadors on Earth

By: Mrs. Sepha Kirshblum

In Parshat Vayikra the Torah outlines for us exactly who has to bring a sacrifice and what it is that he has to bring. It is interesting to note though that for most cases (the individual, the community, the Kohen Gadol) it uses the word “v’im” if a person should sin. However when it comes to the leader the word “asher” when is used. It seems to be that when it comes to most cases it seems that we are willing to say, that it is possible that a person may not sin at all. When it comes to the leader though, it seems as though it is inevitable that he will sin. Why is this so? Why is it that the leader is doomed to failure while there is hope for the rest of mankind? 


The maharal explains in his commentary to pirkei avot 1:10 that there are so many sins that are incurred by the leader. Not only the ones that he does but he also takes responsibility for all the sins that the people committed that he should have stopped them from doing. He even goes as far as to encourage people to not assume positions of leadership.


However we know that leaders are an absolute necessity. We need people in position to make decisions. Someone in charge of the community, and making sure that things are being taken cared for. Who is going to run all the programs of the community? Who is going to teach the children? Who is going to make sure that the charity is collected? The truth is that we need role models and leaders to follow after. We need mentors and we need to be mentors for others.


The Gemara in Bava Batra 17a says that the rabbis taught that there were four people who died sinless. Binyamin son of Yaakov, Amram father of Moshe, Yishai father of David, and Kil’av son of David. Rabbi Zevulun Charlop notes that the wording is a bit strange. Why is it that each person is mentioned by stating his relationship to someone else? It seems clear that the Gemara wants us to make a comparison between these 4 people and their more well known relatives. When we make the comparison we see that those who haven’t sinned pale in comparison to their counterparts. We know and see that each of the three people who are used in the comparisons are people who sinned. They were also some of our greatest leaders. Even though they sinned their place in our history is well known. Moshe was the greatest of the prophets, Yaakov was the greatest of the Avot, and David was the greatest of the kings. So the question is what is preferable?  To be Binyamin or Yaacov, Amram or Moshe, Yishai and Kil’av or David? It seems that it is better to risk doing sin and being a leader as opposed to living a life unblemished.


The torah tells up that we will mess up, but it is important that leaders and role models are crucial. Being a role model is not always something that you apply for or even want to take.


Rav Wolbe in his sefer Alei Shor explains that a person who leaves the institutions of Torah study has upon him the responsibility to make a Kiddush Hashem. People look to them to be the beacons of light now that they have spent time learning what is supposed to be a religion built off of moral codes and ideals. As soon as they leave the doors of the Torah institutions this test of being positive role models begins. The public eye is always on you and you have to be ready to live up to the expectations that others have of you morally.


We are all in essence Hashem’s ambassadors on earth. The way that we live effects how people view him. Everyone in his own right and circle is a role model and someone who needs to set a proper example. In Judaism we believe that everyone is a role model for not only his community for the world as well.


Let us take the opportunities we have, to use whatever status we have, to be positive influences and not run or hide from the light that gives us our recognition.




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