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When Moses Comes to Town
By ISJL Education Fellow Gabi Cohn
One morning, I woke up and went to work at the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life. The day began normally until a visitor arrived. I must confess that we at the ISJL receive and welcome visitors often. They go on tours of the office, hearing about each department and meeting everyone. It was not the fact that there was a visitor that was strange, but rather who the visitor was--Mosheh Rabbeinu. Macy introduced our guest, a senior man with a long beard, holding a staff for support. “This is Mosheh Rabbeinu. Can y’all introduce yourselves?” Mosheh Rabbeinu looked at all of us and said, “Please, just call me Moses.” We exchanged a quick glance of shock and confusion among each other and started our introduction to the department.
After Moses had finished receiving his tour, we had time to ask him questions and learn directly from him. One of the things he talked with us about was some tips and tricks for encouraging people to follow your message. As I was sitting listening, I realized keeping people inspired to follow you is applicable in many situations and beneficial in any leadership role.
Moses told us about the struggles he faced wandering the desert with the Israelites. They were not always the most cooperative. They complained, they yelled, and they often did not understand why Moses was doing something a specific way. But it was still Moses’ job to get the Israelites to the Promised Land. He got frustrated and overwhelmed time after time, but eventually was successful. We asked, “When we are working with many different communities, it can be difficult to balance everyone’s needs. How did you keep everyone, especially with such different personalities, engaged in the end goal, let alone to believe in the same end goal?”
Moses thought for a second, and then told us he had five tips and tricks that he learned in his time in the desert. Here they are: