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Listen to women

More often than not, we consider our take on things to be the ultimate truth. It is especially relevant when we have been in the leadership position for a long time, thus getting used to others listening to our voice. The case of Zelophehad’s daughters brought to our attention in this week’s Torah portion, is an excellent example of a true leader’s decision.

The leader might avoid unexpected challenges, entailing tough or unpopular actions. However, when the five daughters of Zelophehad approached Moses with a claim to their father’s inheritance, neither he dismisses them nor renders their demand insignificant. Instead, Moses brings their case to the ultimate authority and receives a clear answer.

“The plea of Zelophehad’s daughters is just,” says God. This is a rare occasion of a Divine agreement with human reasoning. Moreover, Rashi (a father of daughters) comments on this verse with a rare conviction and a strong voice.

“This tells us that their eye saw what Moses’ eye did not see, and they had a finer perception of what was just in the law of inheritance than Moses had.”

Sometimes leaders should listen to others and especially women.

About the Author
Nelly Shulman is a journalist and writer currently based in Berlin. She is an author of four popular historical novels in the Russian language. She is working on the fifth novel in this series and on her first English-language novel, a historical thriller set during the Siege of Leningrad. She a Hawthornden Fellow and an alumna of the Nachum Goldmann Fellowship.
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