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Our first leader

סיון רהב מאיר ועודד בן עמי משדרים ממטה גנץ בערב הבחירות

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

I am writing from the election night studio, in the middle of a broadcast. I found in the course of this long night a comment from Rabbi Chaim Navon regarding this week's Torah portion. He reminds us that political leadership is important, but there is another kind of leadership, no less important, as described below:

"4,000 years ago, an old man and an old woman departed from Turkey for the land of Canaan. Presumably the people living at that time did not think much of this. The headlines of the day, as usual, were all about kings and their wars, ministers and their intrigues.

If anyone had known anything about this old and childless man, it would have been a source of mockery. Yet who had even heard of him, or later on about his descendants and their tiny nation, about their strange faith.

But today, no one remembers the kings and the ministers of the Middle East in those days, but everyone remembers that old man. Nearly four billion men and women in the world see themselves as followers of Avraham Avinu."

In the days ahead, we will be preoccupied with political leadership, which is always extremely temporary. But this week's Torah portion reminds us, instead, to contemplate the educational and spiritual leadership of Avraham, whose influence is eternal.


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