A Bisl Torah – More Than Enough

March 24, 2022
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Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin, the rabbi at Temple Israel in West Palm Beach, Florida, recently shared an article about the future of religious leadership. In gleaning insight from the Megillah, he explains that clergy burnout (across faiths and denominations) can be avoided if one remembers to “center yourself on your goals, your ideals and your passions.”

He offers that at the end of the Megillah, Mordecai is described as a leader “popular with the multitude of his brethren.” Meaning, Mordecai wasn’t actually liked by everyone. Astonishingly, when you remember that Mordecai is considered one of the heroes of the story, intimately involved in saving the Jewish people from utter demise, this may be hard to believe. But Salkin uses this very example as an important lesson: you will never be liked by everyone. And the greatest of leaders must understand that to be everything to everyone is to virtually stand for nothing.

And so, the question that each person must answer: what do you stand for? Parents often teach their children to stop following the crowd. But the lesson falls short when we forget to distill what it is that’s worth championing. Whether you are a leader in an organization or leader of your family, what are the values that define your life? And is your life reflective of those values?

Life should not be a popularity contest.  But the ongoing shaping of one’s character to meet one’s priorities…that is a pursuit that holds promise.  When I think about the person I want to be and the leader I aspire to become, the words of Micah 6:8 bolster my spirit: And what the Lord requires of you: Only to do justice, and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with God.

We can’t be everything for everyone. But if we hold by that which sustains our soul, we will be more than enough.

Shabbat Shalom

Rabbi Nicole Guzik is a rabbi at Sinai Temple. She can be reached at her Facebook page at Rabbi Nicole Guzik or on Instagram @rabbiguzik. For more writings, visit Rabbi Guzik’s blog section from Sinai Temple’s website.

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