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    Credit where it is due – Bo

    Moses & Aaron, by Hans Sebald Beham, 16th century

    The 12th chapter of Sh’mot announces that the month of the Exodus “shall be for you the beginning of the months” (Ex. 12:2).

    To whom is the announcement communicated?

    Not, as we might expect, to Moses the leader alone, but to Aaron too. As Rashi says, both of them had been actively involved with the events in Egypt that led to the people’s freedom, and both deserved the honour of receiving the message that with the Exodus, Jewish national history had truly begun.

    This simple announcement conveys a vitally important lesson of etiquette and ethics. Just as God gives credit where credit is due, so should human beings.

    The temptation is for a leader who has won a victory to decide that it was he who made all the difference and his co-workers were only “also-rans”. The fact is that everyone’s contribution is indispensable.

    It shows the greatness of the leader if he can fully acknowledge the team and give his partners their due. Indeed it often happens that what wins office for a leader is the public perception of the quality of his team.

    No leader can achieve it all by himself – a lesson that Moses himself quickly learned when his father-in-law, Jethro, warned him that the only way he would succeed was by having beside him “able men who fear God, men of truth, hating unjust gain” (Ex. 18:21).

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