Wednesday, August 31, 2005

What's a Leader?

Many people have been writing to me, demanding that since I'm not shy about criticizing Israeli politicians, office-holders and of course Moetzet YESHA (#138 finally made it to Arutz 7, and you can comment to the site) I should announce the name of the person I think should lead our country.

Before I make the grand announcement, as preparation, I'd like to do some brain-storming with you.

Let's define the term "leader."

First some characteristics: And fellow-females, please don't be offended that I'm writing this in the masculine; the person, or people most closely fitting the requirements may very well be ladies. So I hope that suitable women will be mentioned.

A leader has what's in Hebrew called "yozma," initiative. He doesn't check the polls or his advisors to find out what he's supposed to think.
A leader exudes confidence not confusion.
A leader is connected to his "people" and doesn't expect his underlings/staff to do the job.
A leader has principles.
A leader isn't afraid to apologize and explain that a mistake has been made or that the situation demands a change in policy.
A leader has clear goals.
A leader knows how to delegate and motivate people.
A leader isn't appointed; he just leads.

I'll end with a story, true of course; some of you may have heard it, and some of you may have been there when it happened.

When I was a Stern girl, in the late 1960's, the Rishon L'Tzion, Chief Sephardi Rabbi came to New York from Israel, HaRav Nissim, ZaTz"L. Among his public appearances was one at Yeshiva University, when he spoke to the students. I was there.

I think that YU President Belkin introduced him, and in the introduction he bragged that many YU students went to Israel.

HaRav Nissim interrupted:
B'Aretz omrim--acharai!
In Israel we say--after me!

I really do want your feedback before I announce my leader.


Soccer Dad said...

It's easy to criticize leaders. But remember one thing - at least with regard to the PM - Lev Melech B'yad Hashem (Mishlei 21:1). According to the Malbim, Hashem doesn't give Bechirah to leaders because a leader's effect on multitudes and history is so great that Hashem won't leave it up to a mortal to make such decisions. I believe that we have to look more at ourselves than at PM Sharon. To me the biggest question is: Why am I not in Israel. Perhaps if the Jewish people - i.e. those living outside of E"Y - appreciated E"Y properly by living there Hashem would have protected more of the land. Disengagement is a wake up call. PM Sharon is merely the pawn that Hashem used to make us sit up and think (and hopefully, act.)

Voice said...

I'm tellin' you again, RUN FOR THIS POSITION! :)
Love ya.

Batya said...

David, yes, it's another story for you in chu"l. With us it's real, not theoretical.

I try to differentiate between politicians and leaders, since there's lots of confusion.

Whenever Israelis get together to talk about the "matzav" there's a cry for a real leader. One who will save us from this horrid cruel mess. Names are mentioned and rejected. Our homes are in danger.

Voice, you know that nobody wants me; I've made too many people "uncomfortable." I'm not diplomatic, nor photogenic.

Mastiff said...

One other factor that a leader needs, at least according to the Greeks, is "prudence." There are two parts to prudence: first, the ability to know what needs to be done; second, the skill to do it. Both of these are in a practical sense, not theoretical. Whoever the next leader of Israel is will have to deal with the same constraints and pressures as Sharon, or Barak or Netanyahu before him. What he is capable of will be sharply limited.

That said, I've always been a Sharansky man. Whatever else you can say about him, Natan Sharansky would not have let the Palestinians collapse into rule of the gun.

Batya said...

I hate to break it to you, but Sharansky fled from the government when it got tough. He's not a politician in the good sense of politicians being able to manipulate people to get things done. he's a philospher, at best.

Anonymous said...

What's a Leader?

Sorry - been so long since we've seen one here in Israel that I;ve forgotten.


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