Shoftim: Leader or Figurehead

We were very fortunate this week.  I was able to get the car for an additional two days.


We spent one day just north of Tzfas hiking the wooded mountains and were fortunate to be able to daven at the graves of Rava and Abaye, two of the most popular scholars found in the Gemara.  We were also able to take the kids to a small botanical garden and then I drove them to the Lebanese border for lunch.  And I did this all while suffering from a painful case of strep (I just got diagnosed last night…it takes a lot for me to go to a doctor).


It was a nice, yet stressful, “vacation,” but I’m happy to be able to finally get back to life on Sunday.


“And it will be as when he sits on his throne of royalty…” (Devarim 17:18).

Rav Mordechai Pragamantzky said on this pasuk, that the Torah could have simply written “And it will be when he sits…”  Instead, it writes “as when he sits,” being that every time a king sits on his throne, he needs to sit on it as if it were the first time.


What does this mean?


Many a leader starts off enthusiastically about his leadership role.  He has ideas and he has plans.  Yet after a while, even if he accomplished many, if not all, of his plans, the job wearies him.  No longer does he lead with fire or energy.  He stops being a leader, and starts becoming a mere figurehead.


Anybody who has a position of leadership, whether at work, or in the family, should keep this in mind.  I’ve seen companies, communities, and families suffer greatly from figurehead leadership.  When there is just a figurehead, other forces at work will be more than happy to take up the real leadership.  But, when a company head, community head, or parent, approaches each day anew, knowing what his goals and plans are, with the same fire they had in the beginning, then success is a lot more attainable.


Have a wonderful Shabbos!