Weekly Update: What is a great leader? 

editor - 13 November 2020

Perhaps no other question is more relevant today than this: what makes a great leader?

According to Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, a leader is someone who “sees the destination, begins the journey, and leaves behind those who will continue it”.

Rabbi Sacks, who passed away last week at the age of 72, was himself a great leader, and the world is a lesser place without him. May he rest in peace, awaiting the resurrection which he no doubt lived and died expecting.

In the meantime, the world has to get on with the job of managing itself. To do so, we need leaders. Good ones.

Rabbi Sacks saw Abraham as an example of a great leader. Abraham came to understand three important leadership principles. First, to hear and submit oneself to God’s declared will. Second, to have the faith to act upon it. Third, to inspire others to follow. As Rabbi Sacks said, “God promises, but we have to act. Despite all the promises, God does not and will not do it alone.”

It seems to be a sign of the times that there are more ego-centric despots in the world who seek to impose their own will and satisfy their own interests, than there are true leaders who have clear vision, the humility to sacrifice themselves for the common good, and the skills to raise up others to fulfil that vision.

Let us pray that God will raise up and appoint more men and women like Abraham – and Rabbi Jonathan Sacks – to lead our nations for a time such as this.

God knows, we need them.

The Editorial Team – Israel & Christians Today

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks – a true leader 

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, former Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, was a naturally shy person who grew to become an intellectual and moral giant – one of the greatest Jewish thinkers of the past century. Read more..

I have lost a trusted guide, inspired teacher and friend

Prince Charles paid tribute to Rabbi Sacks in Jewish News: “The death of Rabbi Lord Sacks is the most profound loss to the Jewish community, to this nation and to the world. Those who knew him through his writings, sermons and broadcasts will have lost a source of unfailing wisdom, sanity and moral conviction in often bewildering and confusing times.” Read more..

Leadership in the Middle East: “Do no harm” 

David Horovitz at Times of Israel has some advice for Joe Biden: “I don’t expect Biden — the most experienced incoming president since George H.W. Bush in 1989, and no neophyte when it comes to this region — to be guided by that “you know better” remark at the end of his Tel Aviv speech a decade ago. I also don’t think the status quo is beneficial on the Palestinian front (as Israel entangles itself more deeply with millions of hostile Palestinians) or on the Iranian front (as the ayatollahs continue their pursuit of the bomb). But, at least while he settles in, he might want to consider a Middle Eastern diplomatic application of the Hippocratic Oath: First, do no harm.” Read more..

Hamas-Fatah leadership: a new friendship? 

Dr. Shaul Bartal at BESA: The series of blows the US administration has dealt to the Palestinian Authority over the past year, from the announcement of the “Deal of the Century” to the normalization accords between Israel, the UAE, Bahrain, and Sudan, has led to an attempted reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas. The Istanbul Agreement signed on September 24 reflects a rare commonality of interests between the two organizations, which understand the mood of the Palestinian public and are again trying to achieve unity even at the possible cost of Hamas taking over the PA and the PLO. Read more..


Heart and Soul | “The Signs of the Times”
with Rev. Willem J.J. Glashouwer 

There is only one verse in the Bible that speaks about the heart and soul of God. There are many verses that speak about the heart and soul of human beings, but only one that tells us what’s in the heart and soul of the Most High. Jeremiah 21:41 says: ‘I will surely gather them from all the lands (…) I will bring them back to this place and let them live in safety (…) I will assuredly plant them in this land with all My heart and soul.’ If His heart and His soul are fully committed to bringing His people home to His land, shouldn’t our hearts and souls be committed to that process as well?


Abram’s Faith | Teaching series “In the Footsteps of Abraham”
by Johannes Gerloff 
Faith is not a feeling, but a conscious decision – sometimes against all odds. And faith always has implications for one’s day-to-day life. Abram demonstrates this in a practical way.




Scripture for the week: Psalm 1

Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff
that the wind blows away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

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