Today marks the conclusion of a difficult, albeit fascinating, run-up to the 2019 General Election. Commentators and pundits up and down the country have remarked on how much conflict has been visible during the campaign and we must hope that this will abate once the ballots close and people resume their normal lives.
In this week’s parshah, we see that Yaakov is surrounded by conflict – he clashes with his brother and with his uncle; his two wives find it hard to get along and his children also bicker amongst themselves. Rabbi Lord Sacks discusses this idea in great detail and asks the important question: how did Yaakov help to calm the conflict; to soothe the angst of the people around him? The answer is that he learnt to be confident in himself and to resolve his own inner conflicts; it was only after this that he could see himself as a peacemaker and help to calm the attitude of the people amongst him.
Rabbi Lord Sacks’ comment in his book, ‘Lessons in Leadership’, encapsulates a very important message for leaders in general: ‘They must understand that it is better to seek the respect of some than the popularity of all…. No one is stronger than the person who knows who and what [s/]he is.’
Have a peaceful Shabbos,
Mrs D Lebrett