What did Moshe feel about the economy? What was Moshe’s opinion on politics? Was Moshe a right winger, centrist, or a left winger? I do not know, and looking through this week’s Torah portion, you wouldn’t know either.
But why not? As Moshe is giving his farewell speech to the nation of Israel, one would assume that some of his worldview opinions would come through in his speech. Yet we don’t hear any of that. Instead, over the course of this weeks and the adjoining week’s Torah portion, Moshe repeats previous events of Egypt and the 40 years in the dessert, Hashems reaction to the events, alongside the consequences that followed. But why is that? Surely, based on his life experiences, he has some sage advice to give. To compare, we all know the opinions of the dynamic leaders of today, be it a politician, social media influencer or celebrity, because they tell us their opinions constantly. For goodness’s sake, the large businesses of today have entire press teams anxiously awaiting to comment and give their twist on the latest social issue of the day.
So, why is it that Moshe stayed focused, without a hint of personal bias? The answer lies in the question; good leaders tell others how to live and great leaders live by example. I am sure that Moshe had an opinion when the Jewish nation asked for meat in the desert, among dozens of other events. Yet he didn’t offer an opinion. He just did what he needed to do without letting his personal feelings or biases get in the way.
Way too often in life, we tend to use our personal platforms as our venue to spew our opinions on all the latest issues (be they right or wrong opinions). But instead of doing that, maybe let’s channel some of that outward energy and focus it a bit inward to become a better person. In terms of changing people’s perception of yourself or making the world a better place, leading by positive example is miles more effective than telling others how they should or should not think. Studies have shown that the highest rated “influencers” are those who live their greatest life by becoming the best version of themselves and not those who focus on changing other people’s minds.
May we all take a page out of Moshe’s playbook by focusing on being the best version of ourselves that we can possibly be.