04 Jun Rabbi Hillel Skolnik’s Torah Spark for B’ha’a lot’cha 5775
This Shabbat we read from Parashat B’ha’a lot’cha in which the Israelites finally leave the foot of Mount Sinai and head out on the journey that would ultimately lead them to the promised land. There are a number of instances in this particular parasha in which Moshe displays excellent leadership skills, others of which I have sparked about in years past. In that light, this year I’d like to highlight the moment when Moshe invites his father-in-law to bring his clan along with the Israelites to the promised land. And while his father-in-law originally turns him down, Moshe follows it up with a pitch including not only bounty from God but a reminder that his father-in-law knows this desert and could give extremely useful advice about where to camp on the way. Moshe knows that it is his job to lead the people, but he also knows that good advisors make for a successful leader. Moshe might have had a close relationship with God, but a close relationship with the Sinai desert he had not. It was a very wise move to bring along a person who could lead them to better and calmer areas of a harsh desert – a decision which turned out to be extra smart considering that they would soon be punished with forty years in the wilderness.
Rabbi Hillel Skolnik