Thursday, January 20, 2011

Lessons in Leadership: Moses vs Pharaoh

Ever notice how Moses' earliest displays of leadership qualities are the exact antithesis of Pharaoh's?
For example:
  1. Pharaoh frequently consults with advisors and magicians and various court functionaries Moshe, famously, tries to do everything himself until his father-in-law suggests a better way.
  2. Pharaoh leads his troops into battle, and is prepared to face the Lord himself; Moshe sits at a distance, watching from a mountain, when the Israelites face-off against Amelek 
  3. Pharaoh, in the Joseph story, is deeply concerned about feeding his people; in the Mechiltah's interpretation of the fleshpot verses he is said to have kept the slaves extremely well fed; under Moshe's leadership, on the other hand,  the people frequently complain of hunger, and Moshe always meets their complaints with anxiety or rebuke, never with action. 
  4. Pharaoh is described and represented as supremely arrogant; Moshe is called modest, and indeed behaves modestly when he describes his role in the Exodus to Yithro. 
Any others? 

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