Sharona Margolin Halickman

Leadership will only succeed when there is unity

(Image courtesy of author)

Parshat VeZot HaBracha (Dvarim 33:1) begins with the words:

This is the blessing that Moshe, the man of God, blessed B’nai Yisrael before his death.

The Netziv, in his commentary HaEmek Dvar comments that B’nai Yisrael were already blessed by Yaakov Avinu and Bilam, but this was the greatest blessing of all.

In this blessing (Dvarim 33:5) Moshe gives the tribes the secret for the kingdom of Israel’s success:

There was a king in Yeshurun, when the heads of the people gathered, the tribes of Yisrael together.

What is “Yeshurun”?

The Netziv explains that the power of B’nai Yisrael getting together is called “Yeshurun” as they merit a king when they join together.

Sifri adds: When Israel are of one council below, God’s great name is exalted above.

According to Or HaChaim:

In order for a king to be legally crowned in Israel, he must be approved by a popular assembly, including the heads of the people. This rule is spelled out in Tosefta Sanhedrin 83, that only the Supreme Court of 71 judges is authorized to appoint a king. Moshe referred to this rule when he mentioned the “heads of the people”. When Moshe added “the tribes of Yisrael together,” he referred to a national assembly of the people approving of such a choice.

Or HaChaim continues:

The kingdom of Israel will only endure if the heads of the people assemble together (keep the peace amongst themselves) not if the leaders of the people are split. If the leaders are split, the tribes themselves will not be able to maintain their unity. A look at Jewish history shows that as long as the people were united under David and Shlomo, the king and the nation were extremely successful. However, as soon as a split developed, the fortunes of the Jewish people took a turn for the worse.

Rav David Avraham Spector points out that in the year 1948, when there was an internal fight in Israel and the nation was divided, Rav Tzvi Yehuda HaKohen Kook wrote:

We should choose what unites us which is more important than what divides us…In that way we can try to understand each other and speak together and this will bring peace between us and will bring us success and glory.

This message is not new but it needs to be heard especially now. Leadership in Israel will only succeed when we have unity.

About the Author
Sharona holds a BA in Judaic Studies from Stern College and an MS in Jewish Education from Azrieli Graduate School, Yeshiva University. Sharona was the first Congregational Intern and Madricha Ruchanit at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, NY. After making aliya in 2004, Sharona founded Torat Reva Yerushalayim, a non profit organization based in Jerusalem which provides Torah study groups for students of all ages and backgrounds.
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