6/19/2014

Shabbat Korach/Shabbat Mevarchin/Rosh Hodesh Tamuz

Candles Friday 20th 8:10pm
Havdalah 21st 9:05pm

This week’s Torah reading, Korach, is named after the bad guy who lead a rebellion against Moses because he felt that the way Moses was allocating powerful “government ministries” was based on nepotism. In fact the Torah stresses that Moses was acting according to a higher authority.

The commentators argue about Korach’s motive. Was it power or more wealth he wanted? Perhaps he genuinely disagreed with Moses on religious and political issues. No one could accuse Moses of not listening to another point of view or indeed to criticisms. He had an open mind. And that is the measure of a great leader. Moses was the most humble of men. He was not at all arrogant. But he could be and was decisive once he evaluated the situation and made up his mind.

That is the quality of good leadership whether in politics, business or even choosing a partner in life. Sadly we are witnessing one of the most unsuccessful periods in American foreign policy ever in which almost every decision has shown weakness and an incapacity to understand the mentality of the people one is dealing with. America has backed the wrong people and refused to help those who might have been more effective. You might like to re-read the 1958 political novel by Eugene Burdick and William Lederer “The Ugly American” or Graham Greene’s “Our Man in Havana” or recall Neville Chamberlain to know how disastrous such an approach is and that this has happened before.

What it does show is that Israel cannot rely on its alliance with the USA, however beneficial, to protect it. Every red line has been crossed with no response. Moses would never have let that happen.