Midreshet Amit

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Reflections on Leadership

By: Abby Seidman (Hillside, NJ)

In this week's parsha, which narrates the selling of Yosef, we learn how leadership is determined.  When Yosef goes to find his brothers in the field, they immediately want to kill him because of his dreams, but his brother Reuven says, “ ,” “let us not kill him.” The brothers make the decision to throw Yosef into a pit so he should die there from the creatures living in it rather than by their hand directly. Reuven, however, intends to come back to the pit to save Yosef's life and return him to his father. However, while Reuven isn’t there, Yehuda convinces all the brothers to sell Yosef instead of leaving him to die in the pit.

It might seem strange that Yehuda is the one from whom kingship descends rather than Reuven, since Reuven wanted Yosef safe while Yehuda merely wanted him alive. We learn from this that even though Yehuda used his ‘power’ for something less than the ideal, he was the one able to influence his brothers, while Reuven kept his plans to himself and wasn’t able to sway them. It is whether one is able to sway the people that determines leadership.

The lesson I was able to take from this is that people have the power to sway others for good and for bad. Though I do not want to be a ‘leader’ per se, I do want to be able to help my peers make good choices. I think that people don’t realize the power that they have; everything we do and say can influence another person. My teachers here at AMIT influence me everyday to be the best person I am capable of being through learning and personal relationships. I’ve learned to find value in things I didn’t before coming to Israel and I thank them for influencing me positively and being the leaders here for us at Midreshet Amit.

Have a good Shabbat!!!