(This was one of the few articles I managed to write during the past fortnight- it’s relevant to Parshas Korach but the lesson still remains)
As most of you know, Parshas Korach features a dynamic leadership struggle, between a band of rebellious Israelites and Moshe Rabbenu. Ultimately, Moshe Rabbenu prevails, and his legitimacy is proved through Divine intervention, in a scene which recalls that of the Golden Calf. I won’t go into too great detail, because I’ll be writing an insight on Korach later this week. But I want to remind everyone about what Moshe Rabbenu does to prove himself.
Now, I’m not saying that we can all expect miracles to prove that we’re right. Sometimes, we are in the right, but our opponents simply won’t believe us. And there’s no flash of lightning or booming voice to prove that our point is the right one. That’s life. G-d doesn’t usually intervene in everyday, petty arguments (of course, this was no petty argument. This leadership struggle decided the future of the Israelites).
However, even without the miraculous display which Moshe Rabbenu benefited from, we can prove ourselves as worthy leaders. How? By following his lead and challenging the other person, physically. We can’t just argue. We can’t just ignore a complaint. We can’t pretend there are no dissenting voices. Instead, we need to say; “I recognise that you think you’d make a better leader than me. Rather than arguing about it, why don’t we both try and prove ourselves? That way, we can work out who is really the most worthy”.
And of course, you need to follow through. Moshe Rabbenu triumphed- of course!- but if you don’t; if you’re proven wrong; then you need to recognise that, and do what’s necessary. Good leaders set an example, even when they’re stepping down.