By: Brielle Katz (9th Grade)
In this week’s Torah Portion, G-d tells Moshe the procedures the Jewish people must follow if they commit a sin. He mentions that if the Jewish nation as a whole commits a sin, the atonement for their actions falls primarily on their leaders.
Why is it that the leaders have to make amends for a sin that they never committed? The reason is that often leaders think that a set of rules applies to them and then a different set of rules applies to the people they are leading, but G-d tells us that if leaders feel this way, they miss the mark of what it means to be a leader. When the Jewish people erred, G-d knew that their behavior was a direct result of the actions being done by those who were leading them. If the people sinned, it was in large part due to the environment that was created by the elders that allowed the sin to go on.
In our own lives, we all play some sort of leadership role. And the behavior of those we lead will always be a direct result of our own behavior. G-d tells us that the reason the people sinned was that the breeding ground for the negative behavior already existed. People will follow what you do over what you say. If you want to instill a certain type of behavior in others, then create the environment for it to happen. Not by declarations, but by embracing and living the desired behavior yourself.