Monday, May 20, 2013
Parashat Behaalotecha - Building a Cohesive Team
This week we're reading Parashat Behaalotecha. At the end of the parasha, there's an interesting story about Miriam, Moses' sister. She publicly criticizes her brother about his Cushite wife. She is dark-skinned, and not an Israelite. Aaron also criticizes his brother, Moses, with these words: "Has the Lord spoken only through Moses? Has he not spoken through us as well?" These sibling "discussions" were not done privately. No. They were in front of the entire Israelite Community, and Moses must have been pretty embarrassed. What happened to discussions, and family meetings?
But what happens, then, is something remarkable. Only Miriam is punished for criticizing Moses. Miriam was afflicted with leprosy for a week for her harsh words about her brother's wife. Perhaps her mistake was not seeing beyond the color of the person that was in front of her.
As for Aaron, there's nothing wrong with disagreeing with each other. All of those years in the desert together...someone's got to have another opinion. But, listening to those with other opinions is key. It's all in the timing. We all have the ability to share in the responsibility....its about sharing the same vision.
If we can look beyond the color of our skin, the country of our birth, our religion, physical disabilities, hopefully we can empower, guide, encourage and make space for everyone, and create great leaders that will lift us and inspire us to do great things.