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Daily manna from the Torah by Dr Ketriel Blad

Yitro 17-3


Exodus 18:24-27

He chose capable men from all Israel and made them leaders of the people, officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.

Ex. 18:25 NIV

What position does leadership have?

The Torah says that when Moshe chose men to be judges of Israel, he put them over the people. This shows us that a person with authority has a position above a common citizen. This position is not his in regards to personal quality but of a judge. When this person acts as a judge he is over the people but when he is not acting as a judge, he is at the same level as anyone else.

This shows us that there is a difference between position and value. All men have the same value but not all have the same position. Position doesn’t make a person more than other but his function is indeed above the rest. It is important to acknowledge this fact nowadays when rebellion and lack of respect to the authorities are becoming common ground in the world.

Not all the judges that Moshe rabbenu (our teacher) set over the people had the same responsibility. Some had authority over a thousand, others over a hundred, others over fifty and others over ten. This indicates that not all of them had the same leadership skills and that each one of them received an area of responsibility according to his ability. That’s the way of a right management – i.e. the right person in the right position.         

When there is a lack in the leadership or when a person takes a position of authority without being able to do his tasks, the people suffer due to bad management. Wisdom is doing things the best way possible and Moshe did well in listening to his father-in-law’s wise advice. The people, thus, were blessed and relieved.

Let’s respect the authorities that are over us and let’s pray for all authorities so that they can carry out their tasks correctly.

Kol tuv all the best,


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