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227 Best Jewish Quotes About Leadership (2023)

1. The more schooling, the more wisdom.


2. “Did I conceive all these people? Did I give them birth? Why do You tell me to carry them in my arms, as a nurse carries an infant, to the land You promised on oath to their ancestors? …I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me. If this is how You are going to treat me, please go ahead and kill me – if I have found favour in Your eyes – and do not let me face my own ruin.”


3. “Leadership demands two kinds of courage: the strength to take a risk, and the humility to admit when a risk fails.”


4. “Why do Jewish men die before their wives? They want to.” – Henny Youngman


5. Before you can lead, you must have a vision of the future and be able to communicate it to others.


6. “Whatever you choose to do, leave tracks. That means don’t do it just for yourself. You will want to leave the world a little better for your having lived.” – Ruth Bader Ginsberg


7. “You have to have faith, fantasy, hope, drive, determination, and the belief that tomorrow will be better.” – Magda Brown


8. “All the honor of the king’s daughter is within” (Psalms 45:14) was applied by the rabbis to explain the different natures of men and women. Men belonged in the marketplace; women were needed at home. Family was highly valued and life at home was mostly in mixed company, but much of communal life and most of the ritual observance were divided by gender. Men led the prayers, codified legal decisions, controlled the community chest, and dealt with the outside world. This impacted women’s sphere of influence, which tended to be in the private domain. Exceptions to this rule are mentioned throughout the Talmud: Beruryah (wife of R. Meir) and Imma Shalom (wife of R. Eliezer) were scholars in their own right whose interpretations are quoted, while the wife of Jonah the prophet went up to Jerusalem for the three festivals and Michal, daughter of King Saul, donned tefillin.


9. “This is one of the goals of the Jewish way of living: to experience commonplace deeds as spiritual adventures, to feel the hidden love and wisdom in all things.” – Abraham Joshua Heschel


10. “Determination is doing what needs to be done even when you don’t feel like doing it.”


11. “The distinctions between body and spirit are acknowledged, but the nature of the relationship is seen as cooperative and unifying. The joys of the body enhance the joys of the soul; when the body dances, the soul claps her hands.” - Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi from A Hidden Light


12. “You achieve immortality not by building pyramids or statues, but by engraving your values on the hearts of your children, and they on theirs, so that our ancestors live on in us and we in our children, and so on until the end of time.”


13. “On three things does the world stand: On justice, on truth and on peace.”


14. “You may not make the image of God because you are the image of God.” - Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel from Ehyeh by Rabbi Arthur Green


15. “To be a leader, you do not need a crown or robes of office. All you need to do is to write your chapter in the story, do deeds that heal some of the pain of this world, and act so that others become a little better for having known you. Live so that, through you, our ancient covenant with God is renewed in the only way that matters: in life. Moses’ last testament to us at the very end of his days, when his mind might so easily have turned to death, was: choose life.”


16. “It’s not how much or how little you have that makes you great or small, but how much or how little you are with what you have.” Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch


17. “Life is a tragedy full of joy.” – Bernard Malamud


18. Leaders lead because there is work to do, there are people in need, there is injustice to be fought, there is wrong to be righted, there are problems to be solved and challenges ahead. Leaders hear this as a call to light a candle instead of cursing the darkness. They lead because they know that to stand idly by and expect others to do the work is the too-easy option. The responsible life is the best life there is, and is worth all the pain and frustration. To lead is to serve; The highest accolade Moses ever received was to be called “eved Hashem“ – “God’s servant” – and there is no higher honor.


19. “The laws God gave me and I gave you exist not for God’s sake but for ours. God gave us freedom – the most rare, precious, unfathomable thing of all other than life itself. But with freedom comes responsibility. That means that we must take the risk of action. God gave us the land but we must conquer it. God gave us the fields but we must plough, sow, and reap them. God gave us bodies but we must tend and heal them. God is our father; He made us and established us. But parents cannot live their children’s lives. They can only show them by instruction and love how to live.”


20. “We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” – Elie Wiesel


21. “God is there. In the spaces in between. Reminding us that we have all along been destined to live forever. Ascending through ever higher spirals of awareness and chambers of light.”- Rabbi Lawrence Kushner in Honey from the Rock


22. By contrast, at the beginning of Exodus Moses takes responsibility. When he sees an Egyptian beating an Israelite, he intervenes. When he sees two Israelites fighting, he intervenes. In Midian, when he sees shepherds abusing the daughters of Jethro, he intervenes.


23. “This is the story of a people which was scattered over all the world and yet remained a single family, a nation which time and again was doomed to destruction and yet, out of the ruins, rose to new life.” – Abba Kovner


24. “Within each of us, there lies a tzaddik [righteous person] and inner guide. In the absence of an outer spiritual master or teacher, the neshama [soul, or our core or essence] has the power to awaken and guide us.” - Estelle Frankel in Sacred Therapy


25. “An abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal behavior.” – Victor Frankl


26. “We can endure much more than we think we can; all human experience testifies to that.” – Rabbi Harold S. Kushner


27. “If you want to meet a princess, make yourself into a prince.” – Rabbi Dov Heller, Aish LA


28. “Uncritical followership and habits of silent obedience give rise to the corruptions of power, or sometimes simply to avoidable catastrophes. For”


29. “A human being must either climb up or climb down.” Talmud: Erubin, 21a


30. “Listening is a profound affirmation of the humanity of the other. In the encounter at the burning bush, when God summoned Moses to be a leader, Moses replied, ‘I am not a man of words, not yesterday, not the day before, not from the first time You spoke to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue’ (Ex. 4:10). Why would God choose to lead the Jewish people, a man who found it hard to speak? Perhaps because one who cannot speak learns how to listen. A leader is one who knows how to listen: to the unspoken cry of others and to the still, small voice of God.”


31. “Where there is no fear of God, there is no wisdom.”


32. “So -- our readiness to meet and defeat this kind of possible attack is forced upon us, both as a potent preventive of actual war and to insure survival in event of attack. This alertness to danger has to be translated into specific policies and activities in the several parts of the world where our rights -- our way of life -- can be seriously damaged. Work of this kind occupies my days and nights.”


33. “Gam zu l’tova. This too is for the good.”


34. “There are two things that are infinite, the universe and man's stupidity..... And I am not sure about the universe.” – Albert Einstein


35. “If you are not a better person tomorrow than you are today, what need have you for a tomorrow?” – Rabbi Nachman of Breslov


36. “Rabbi [Judah HaNassi] would say: Which is the right path for man to choose for himself? Whatever is harmonious for the one who does it, and harmonious for mankind.”


37. Without constant study, leadership lacks <a href=\"http://www.jpost.com/Magazine/Opinion/Seven-principles-of-Jewish-leadership#\" id=\"PXLINK_1_0_1\">direction</a> and depth.


38. I don't speak because I have the power to speak; I speak because I don't have the power to remain silent – Rabbi A.Y. Kook


39. “To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time.” – Leonard Bernstein


40. “I have said time and again there is no place on this earth to which I would not travel, there is no chore I would not undertake if I had any faintest hope that, by so doing, I would promote the general cause of world peace.”


41. “The Jewish religion is an ethical religion. That is, we are taught to do right, to love mercy, do justice, not because there’s gonna be any reward in heaven or punishment in hell. We live righteously because that’s how people should live.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg


42. In a place where there are no men, strive to be a man.”


43. “The community is Isreal’s rampart.” – Jewish Proverb


44. Similar sentiments can be found in the words of Elijah, Jeremiah and Jonah. All at some stage prayed to die rather than carry on. Transformative leaders see the need for people to change. But people resist change and expect the work to be done for them by their leader.


45. “Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.” – Allen Ginsberg


46. “If I am not for me, who is for me; and if I am (only) for myself, what am I. And if not now, when?” – Hillel, Ethics of the Fathers, 1:14


47. “Everyone complains about a lack of money, but none complain about a lack of brains.” – Jewish Proverb


48. If you don't know what you're living for, you haven't yet lived.” – Rabbi Noah Weinberg, of blessed memory


49. “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” Elie Wiesel


50. “You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to desist from it.” – Pirkei Avot 2:21


51. “I’m no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.”


52. “I was born in New York City, but I was raised in New Jersey, part of the great Jewish emigration of 1963.” – Jon Stewart


53. Know from where you came, where you are going, and before whom you are destined to give a judgement and accounting.”


54. There is a profound principle at stake here. Judaism prefers the leadership of influence to the leadership of power. Kings had power. Prophets had influence but no power at all. Power lifts the leader above the people.


55. Before Moses can lead he has to experience a vision at the <a href=\"http://www.jpost.com/Magazine/Opinion/Seven-principles-of-Jewish-leadership#\" id=\"PXLINK_2_0_2\">burning bush</a>. There he is told his task: to lead the people from slavery to freedom. He has a destination: the land flowing with milk and honey. He is given a double challenge: to persuade the Egyptians to let the Israelites go and to persuade the Israelites to take the risk of going. The latter turns out to be more difficult than the former.


56. Visit David Ben-Gurion’s house in Tel Aviv and you will see that it is essentially a library with 20,000 books. Study makes the difference between the statesman and the politician, between the transformative leader and the manager.


57. “I’m a Jew. I’m fascinated by our culture and our history, by what made us the people we are. It influences every breath I take. It informs and guides me. Without it, I’d just be a vacuum.” – Mandy Patinkin


58. “Who is wise? One who learns from every man… Who is strong? One who overpowers his inclinations… Who is rich? One who is satisfied with his lot… Who is honorable? One who honors his fellows.” – Ben Zoma, Ethics of the Fathers, 4:1


59. “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” – Anne Frank


60. “Anytime a person goes into a delicatessen and orders a pastrami on white bread, somewhere a Jew dies.” – Milton Berle


61. “The people of Isreal compose a single soul. Only the bodies are separate.” – Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi


62. Teaching creates leaders.


63. “Not all of us have power, but we all have influence. That is why we can each be leaders. The most important forms of leadership come not with position, title or robes of office, not with prestige and power, but with the willingness to work with others to achieve what we cannot do alone… Always choose influence rather than power. It helps change people into people who can change the world.”


64. “When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.” – Viktor E. Frankl


65. ... Be Strong,You Never Know Who You Are Inspiring”


66. “If I am I because you are you, and you are you because I am I, then I am not I and you are not you. But if I am I because I am I, and you are you because you are you, then I am I and you are you.” – Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotzk


67. “All good ideas start out as bad ideas, that’s why it takes so long.” – Steven Spielberg


68. “The highest form of wisdom is kindness.” – from the Talmud


69. One who stays awake at night, or travels alone on the road, and turns his heart to idleness, has forfeited his life.


70. “I believe that the will of the people is resolved by a strong leadership. Even in a democratic society, events depend on a strong leadership with a strong power of persuasion, and not on the opinion of the masses.” Yitzhak Shamir


71. “For a Jewish guy, I’ve recorded a lot of Christmas albums.” – Barry Manilow


72. “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” – Albert Einstein


73. “​​Everybody, every human being has the obligation to contribute somehow to this world.” – Edith Carter


74. “Do not underestimate the determination of a quiet man.”


75. “If we want God to listen to us, we have to be prepared to listen to Him. And if we learn to listen to Him, then we eventually learn to listen to our fellow humans: the silent cry of the lonely, the poor, the weak, the vulnerable, the people in existential pain.”


76. “Study is not the most important thing, but actions.”


77. “Jews survived all the defeats, expulsions, persecutions and pogroms, the centuries in which they were regarded as a pariah people, even the Holocaust itself, because they never gave up the faith that one day they would be free to live as Jews without fear.” – Jonathan Sac


78. “Humor is the weapon of unarmed people. It helps people who are oppressed to smile at the situation that pains them.” – Simon Wisenthal


79. “Anti-Jewish racism has risen, but so has Jewish Pride. We will reject their attempts fto shame us. We will reject their hate and instead turn towards love.” – Ben M Freeman


80. “Having established as our goals a lasting world peace with justice and the security of freedom on this earth, we must be prepared to make whatever sacrifices are demanded as we pursue this path to its end.”


81. “In everything you do you encounter sparks full of life and light, aspiring to rise toward the heights. You help them and they help you.” - Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook in the Classics of Western Spirituality


82. “Klieg, Klieg, Klieg-Du bist a Nar. You are smart, smart. smart – but you are not so smart!” – a Yiddish saying


83. Do we know how to handle freedom? We know how to recognize enemies. Do we know how to make friends? Never in history has there been a better time to be a Jewish leader. However, there is a right way for future Jewish leadership to go, and a wrong way. The wrong way is to emphasize antisemitism and the assaults on Israel, to exaggerate the tensions between the different streams in Jewish life and to bemoan the lack of Jewish leadership. The right way is to make friends within and beyond the Jewish community, to emphasize the ethical and spiritual dimensions of Judaism, to find social action projects we can work on across other divides and to find ways of making Jews feel proud to be Jews.


84. “If you look at a group of people that had faith, it’s got to be the Jews. They followed Moses through the desert for 40 years with no map. There had to be one guy in the back, like, ‘I don’t think he knows where he’s going.'” – Adam Ferrara


85. “In this case the Torah is emphasising that Exodus ends as Genesis began, with a work of creation. Note the difference as well as the similarity. Genesis began with an act of divine creation. Exodus ends with an act of human creation.”


86. “To be a Jew is a destiny.” – Vicki Baum


87. “One whose deeds exceed his wisdom, his wisdom endures. But one whose wisdom exceeds his deeds, his wisdom does not endure.”


88. Not the expounding of the Law is the important matter but the doing of it.


89. “Sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason.” – Jerry Seinfeld


90. “The test of faith is whether I can make space for difference. Can I recognize God’s image in someone who is not in my image, whose language, faith, ideal, are different from mine? If I cannot, then I have made God in my image instead of allowing him to remake me in his.”


91. “A candle is a small thing. But one candle can light another. And see how its own light increases. As a candle gives its flame to the other, you are such a light.” – Moshe Davis


92. “There is never a Jewish community without its scholars, but where Jews may not be both intellectuals and Jews, they prefer to remain Jews.” – Mary Antin


93. “One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present.” – Golda Meir


94. “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” – Viktor Frankl


95. “L’fum tzara agra, according to the effort is the reward.” – Ben Hei Hei, Ethics of the Fathers, 5:26.


96. “As long as the world is turning and spinning, we’re gonna be dizzy and we’re gonna make mistakes.” – Mel Brooks


97. “I lived, while 1 1/2 million Jewish children died. So I have an obligation to repair the world.” – Ruth Westheimer


98. “I marvel at the resilience of the Jewish people. Their best characteristic is their desire to remember. No other people has such an obsession with memory.” – Elie Wiesel


99. “Even a secret agent can’t lie to a Jewish Mother.” – Peter Malkin


100. “Parents and leaders must establish a culture in which honest, open, respectful communication takes place, one that involves not just speaking but also listening. Without it, tragedy is waiting in the wings.”


101. “Winston Churchill’s great remark that “success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”


102. “But one whose deeds are greater than his wisdom, to what is he compared? To a tree with many roots and few branches, whom all the storms in the world cannot budge from its place.”


103. This world is like an anteroom of the world to come.


104. “This is one of only two instances in the whole Torah in which the words lo tov, “not good,” appear. The other is in Genesis (2:18), where God says, “It is not good [lo tov] for man to be alone.” We cannot lead alone. We cannot live alone. To be alone is not good.”


105. “To be a Jew, essentially and not just accidentally, is to regard the Jewish people as one’s sole primal community. Election by the unique God requires total and unconditional loyalty to one people.” – David Novak


106. “Seek the welfare of the city to which I have exiled you and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its prosperity you shall prosper” (Jer. 29:7) – the first statement in history of what it is to be a creative minority.”


107. “It is easy to be a critic, but the only effective critics are those who truly love – and show they love – those whom they criticise.”


108. Why the apparent repetition? Moses is saying two things about leadership. A leader must lead from the front: he or she must “go out before them.” But a leader must not be so far out in front that, when he turns around, he finds no one following. He must “lead them out,” meaning, he must carry people with him. He must go at a pace that people can bear.


109. “Though I am not religious in the least, I am very proud to be Jewish.” – Daniel Radcliffe


110. Who performs one precept gains one advocate for himself.


111. Let your neighbour’s honour be as dear to you as your own!


112. “I grew up in a tradition where having ideas and contributing to the community and creating art that had an impact on the world mattered. That’s part of the Jewish tradition.” – Eve Ensler


113. “He who cannot accept reproof cannot become great.” – Nachman of Breslov


114. “The difference between the possible and the impossible lies within a person’s determination”


115. Judaism, which has the highest view of human dignity of any major religion, is therefore deeply skeptical about power and deeply serious about influence. Hence one of Judaism’s greatest insights into leadership: The highest form of leadership is teaching. Power begets followers.


116. “Join the community: the wolf snatches only the stray sheep that wanders off from the flock.” – Jewish Proverb


117. “No,” replied the drunk. “My wife died.” Gently, he began to sob. “I don’t got no wife. I don’t got no home. I don’t got no job. I’m so ashamed of myself.” Tears rolled down his cheeks.


118. “Every year during their High Holy Days, the Jewish community reminds us all of our need for repentance and forgiveness.” – Billy Graham


119. “Please accept my resignation. I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member.” – Groucho Marx


120. Be first to greet every man. Be a tail to lions, rather than a head to foxes.


121. “Here’s a teaching by Rabbi Sacks I’ve repeated at least 100 times in my career as a Jewish educator. During the repetition of the Amidah (the central Standing Prayer), when there is typically passiveness throughout, when we sit and say “amen” to each blessing, there is only one blessing in which the rabbis declare the passivity to be insufficient. That is the blessing of “modim,” the blessing of gratitude. For the blessing of modim, we cannot simply sit and say amen. Rather, the religious mandate is that we all need to stand and recite the blessing of modim together with the chazan (prayer leader).


122. “As for myself and for the Secretary of State and others involved, including those in the Legislature, we stand ready to do anything, to meet with anyone, anywhere, as long as we may do so in self-respect, demanding the respect due this Nation, and there is any slightest idea or chance of furthering this great cause of peace.”


123. Moses, an Israelite brought up as an Egyptian, could have avoided each of these confrontations, yet he did not. He is the supreme case of one who says: when I see wrong, if no one else is prepared to act, I will.


124. “The past is not easy to forget, and I do not want to forget. The past lives in me. I don’t live in the past.” – Olga Horak


125. One corollary of this is that there is no one leadership style in Judaism. During the wilderness years there were three leaders: Moses, Miriam and Aaron. Moses was close to God. Aaron was close to the people. Miriam led the women and sustained her two brothers. The sages say it was in her merit that there was water to drink in the desert.


126. “In Jewish history there are no coincidences.” – Elie Wiesel


127. People often avoid making decisions out of fear of making a mistake. Actually the failure to make decisions is one of life's biggest mistakes. – Rabbi Noah Weinberg.


128. “Worries go down better with soup than without.” – Jewish Proverb


129. “When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people.” – Abraham Joshua Heschel


130. “Jews, black people – any people who are hated or who have suffered, either as individuals or as a people – use humour. It is a survival skill.” – Sarah Silverman


131. “Thou shalt not be a victim, thou shalt not be a perpetrator, but, above all, thou shalt not be a bystander.” – Yehuda Bauer


132. “Let thy house be wide open, and let the poor be members of thy household.”


133. “Honestly, what can really be said about ‘the Jewish people’ as a whole? Is it not a lamentable stereotype to make large generalizations about all Jews, and to presume they all share the same political commitments?” – Judith Butler


134. Yeshuat Hashem k’heref ayin. The salvation of God is like the blink of an eye.” – Pesikta Zutreta, Esther 4:17.


135. “Human greatness does not lie in wealth or power, but in character and goodness. People are just people, and all people have faults and shortcomings, but all of us are born with a basic goodness.” – Anne Frank


136. “Freedom is won, not on the battlefield, nor in the political arena, but in human imagination and will. To defend a land, you need an army. But to defend freedom, you need education.” – Rabbi Jonathan Sacks


137. “Know before whom you toil, and that your employer is faithful, for He will pay you the reward of your labour.”


138. “The building of such a peace is a bold and solemn purpose. To proclaim it is easy. To serve it will be hard. And to attain it, we must be aware of its full meaning -- and ready to pay its full price.”


139. “William Ury, founder of the Harvard Program of Negotiation, tells a marvellous story in one of his books. A young American, living in Japan to study aikido, was sitting one afternoon in a train in the suburbs of Tokyo. The carriage was half empty. There were some mothers with children, and elderly people going shopping.


140. He institutes principles, such as the septennial national assembly at which the Torah is to be recited, that will periodically recall Israel to its mission.


141. “The world says that time is money, but I say that money is time. In order to earn enough money to satisfy his desires, one must sacrifice inordinate amounts of time. For me, that sacrifice is too great.” Chofetz Chaim


142. “Sometimes people who are Jewish are held to a higher standard which sometimes we take great pride in.” – Gary Ackerman


143. “When you pray, do not make your prayer something automatic, but a plea for compassion before God.”


144. Compare the opening of Genesis with the opening of Exodus. The opening chapters of Genesis are about failures of responsibility. Confronted by God with their sin, Adam blames Eve, Eve blames the serpent. Cain says, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Even Noah, “righteous, perfect in his generations,” has no effect on his contemporaries.


145. Transformation takes time, often more than a single generation.


146. The sword comes to the world for the procrastination of justice, the corruption of justice, and because of those who misinterpret the Torah.”


147. Why then do they lead? Not because they believe in themselves. The greatest Jewish leaders doubted their ability to lead. Moses said, “Who am I?” “They will not believe in me.” “I am not a man of words.” Isaiah said, “I am a man of unclean lips.” Jeremiah said, “I cannot speak, for I am a child.” Jonah, faced with the challenge of leadership, ran away.


148. At the heart of Judaism are three beliefs about leadership: We are free. We are responsible. And together we can change the world.


149. “When we consider above all that God has led us ‘upright to our land,’ that there is a Medinat Yisrael [State of Israel] that finally, after the longest exile ever endured by a people, we have a country we can call home, then if we are honest, we know that we have in our time what our grandparents and their grandparents dreamed of, prayed for, but never saw.”


150. Along the way, Moses performs signs and wonders.


151. “Every act of forgiveness mends something broken in this fractured world. It is a step, however small, in the long, hard journey to redemption.” – Rabbi Jonathan Sacks


152. This is so even in secular leadership. William Gladstone had a library of more than 30,000 books. He read more than 20,000 of them. Gladstone and Benjamin Disraeli were both prolific writers. Winston Churchill wrote some 50 books and won the Nobel <a href=\"http://www.jpost.com/Magazine/Opinion/Seven-principles-of-Jewish-leadership#\" id=\"PXLINK_0_0_0\">Prize</a> for Literature.


153. “I have enormous pride in the survival of the Jewish people, the cultural heritage of the Jewish people, but I’m not observant, and I don’t belong to a synagogue. I don’t go to temple on high holy days, but I’m proud to be Jewish.” – Erica Jong


154. “Power works by division, influence by multiplication. Power, in other words, is a zero-sum game: the more you share, the less you have. Influence is a non-zero-sum game: the more you share, the more you have.”


155. “Say little and do much, and receive all men with a pleasant countenance.”


156. “In a place where there are no leaders, strive to be a leader.” (Pirkei Avot 2:5)


157. “Let the honour of your friend be as dear to you as your own.”


158. “Applying inflexible rules to a constantly shifting political landscape destroys societies. Communism was like that. In free societies, people change, culture changes, the world beyond a nation’s borders does not stand still. So a politician will find that what worked a decade or a century ago does not work now. In politics it is easy to get it wrong, hard to get it right.”


159. “We have our own values; we build our own special, our JEWISH life – and we are proud, so very proud.” – Meir Kahane


160. “Leadership at its highest transforms those who exercise it and those who are influenced by it. The great leaders make people better, kinder, nobler than they would otherwise be. The paradigm case was Moses, the man who had more lasting influence than any other leader in history.”


161. If you are not a better person tomorrow than you are today, what need have you for a tomorrow? – Rebbe Nachman of Breslov


162. Know whence you came and whither you go!


163. The first is common, the second rare. Throughout my life it has been a privilege to witness both. So by way of saying thank you for the past and giving blessings for the future, I have set out below seven of the many axioms of leadership done in a Jewish way.


164. “The idea that it’s possible to move from slavery to freedom and from darkness to light and from despair to hope – that’s the greatest Jewish story ever told.” – Rabbi Sharon Brous


165. “A leader should never try to be all things to all people. A leader should be content to be what he or she is. Leaders must have the strength to know what they cannot be if they are to have the courage to be themselves.”


166. “The greatest gift we can give our children is not money or possessions, but a story – a real story, not a fantasy, one that connects them to us and to a rich heritage of high ideals… We are heirs to a story that inspired a hundred generations of our ancestors and eventually transformed the Western world. What you forget, you lose. The West is forgetting its story. We must never forget ours.”


167. “For evil to flourish, it only requires good men to do nothing.” – Simon Wiesenthal


168. Yet his greatest leadership act occurs in the last month of his life. He gathers the people together on the bank of the Jordan and delivers the speeches that constitute the book of Deuteronomy. There he rises to the greatest heights of prophecy, his eyes turned to the furthest horizon of the future. He tells the people of the challenges they will face in the Promised Land. He gives them laws. He sets forth his vision of the good society.


169. “Oh that’s wonderful,” said the old man. “You see, I love sake too. Every night, me and my wife (she’s 76, you know), we warm up a little bottle of sake and take it out into the garden and we sit on an old wooden bench. We watch the sun go down, and we look to see how our persimmon tree is doing. My great-grandfather planted that tree …”


170. The single overarching question of Jewish existence in the modern age is: What is it to live as a Jew in the public domain, in a world without walls? Jews know how to live with poverty. Do we know how to live with affluence? Jews know how to survive persecution.


171. “Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.” – Anne Frank


172. “To be kind is more important than to be right. Many times what people need is not a brilliant mind that speaks but a special heart that listens.” – Rabbi Menachem Mendel


173. “all the bad things that had happened to him were necessary if the intended outcome was to occur.”


174. “Hey, I may loathe myself, but it has nothing to do with the fact that I’m Jewish.” – Larry David


175. “leadership as the building of the adaptive capacity of a people.”


176. “Do not seek greatness for yourself, and do not covet honour. Practice more than you learn.”


177. Principle 3: Leadership is about the future. It is vision-driven.


178. “One who makes his name great causes his name to be destroyed.”


179. One who refrains from serving as a judge avoids hatred, thievery and false oaths. One who frivolously hands down rulings is a fool, wicked and arrogant.”


180. “Don’t be afraid of discovering that the ‘real you’ may be different than the ‘current you.'” – Rabbi Noah Weinberg


181. “Whenever feeling downcast, each person should vitally remember, ‘For my sake, the entire world was created.'” – Baal Shem Tov


182. “People often avoid making decisions out of fear of making a mistake. Actually, the failure to make decisions is one of life’s biggest mistakes.” Rabbi Noah Weinberg


183. Influence lifts the people above their former selves.


184. “Gam zu l'tova. This too is for the good.” – Nachum Ish Gamzu, Talmud, Taanit, 21a


185. “To be or not to be is not a question of compromise. Either you be or you don’t be.” Golda Meir


186. “This is what the Holy One said to Israel: My children, what do I seek from you? I seek no more than that you love one another and honor one another.” Tanna d’Bai Eliyahu


187. “Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.” – Golda Meir


188. “When there’s an emerging social issue that needs greater attention by the Jewish community, that’s where I am.” – Nina Beth Cardin


189. “What all four stories tell us is that there comes a time for each of us when we must make an ultimate decision as to who we are. It is a moment of existential truth. Lot is a Hebrew, not a citizen of Sodom. Eliezer is Abraham’s servant, not his heir. Joseph is Jacob’s son, not an Egyptian of loose morals. Moses is a prophet, not a priest. To say yes to who we are, we have to have the courage to say no to who we are not. Pain”


190. By three things is the world sustained: justice, truth and peace.


191. Torah is not education, it's transformation. – Rebbitzen Dena Weinberg


192. “The Jewish community has always taken care of its own.” – Lee Whitnum


193. “L’Chaim!” – a traditional Jewish toast.


194. “I’m proud of my Jewish heritage. And for me it’s not just about religion. It’s about community and culture as well.’ – Julian Edelman


195. “You’re never too young to change the world.”


196. “To be Jewish is to be specifically identified with a history. And if you’re not aware of that when you’re a child, the whole tradition is lost.” – Joyce Carol Oates


197. “In this world, the optimists have it, not because they are always right, but because they are positive. Even when wrong, they are positive, and that is the way of achievement, correction, improvement, and success. Educated, eyes-open optimism pays; pessimism can only offer the empty consolation of being right.”


198. “Antisemitism is a virus that mutates so that new antisemites can deny that they’re antisemites at all because their hate is different from the old. In the Middle Ages, Jews were hated for their religion. In the nineteenth and early twentieth century they were hated for their race. Today they are hated for their nation state, Israel. What all three have in common is that they are different ways of saying that Jews have no right to exist collectively as Jews with the same rights of other human beings… Anti-Zionism, denying Jews the right to their one and only collective home by misrepresenting Judaism, is the new antisemitism.”


199. “Community is society with a human face.” – Rabbi Jonathan Sacks


200. “A summary of every Jewish holiday: They tried to kill us, we won, let’s eat!” – Alan King


201. “And know, that the reward of the righteous is in the World to Come.”


202. “You cannot make positive change in the world until you take responsibility for it, until you see yourself as being responsible for changing it positively.”


203. “For all that we cherish and justly desire -- for ourselves or for our children -- the securing of peace is the first requisite.”


204. I do not want followers who are righteous, rather I want followers who are too busy doing good that they won’t have time to do bad. – Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotzk


205. “I’d like it if people thought I was Jewish looking.” – Natalie Portman


206. Influence respects people; power controls people.


207. That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow! That is the whole torah; the rest is interpretation!


208. “This song is a tikkun, a making-right, for the ingratitude of the Israelites in the wilderness. At almost every stage of the way, they complained: about the water, the food, the difficulties of the journey, the challenge of conquering the land. It is as if the poet were saying: ‘Where they complained, let us give thanks. Each stage was a miracle. Each would have been enough to convince us that there is a providence at work in our fate.’ As Hegel points out, slavery gives rise to a culture of resentment, a generalised discontent, and the Israelites were newly released slaves. One of the signs of freedom is the capacity for gratitude. Only a free person can thank with a full heart.”


209. “Always choose influence rather than power. It helps change people into people who can change the world.”


210. Leadership involves a delicate balance between impatience and patience. Go too fast and people resist and rebel. Go too slow and they become complacent.


211. When the leader hands the challenge back, the people turn on him and blame him for their troubles. So Moses is to blame for the hardships of the desert. Elijah is to blame for disturbing the peace. Jeremiah is to blame for the Babylonians. No wonder the most transformative leaders feel, at times, burnout and despair.


212. “Our lives no longer belong to us alone; they belong to all those who need us desperately.” – Elie Wiesel


213. “One of the very first lessons of the Torah gives it a place of high priority: All human beings are created equal. This belief in equality compels action in response to discrimination, racism, and racial injustice.” – Rabbi Dr. Laura Novak Winer


214. “We are alive. We are human, with good and bad in us. That’s all we know for sure. We can’t create a new species or a new world. That’s been done. Now we have to live within those boundaries. What are our choices? We can despair and curse, and change nothing. We can choose evil like our enemies have done and create a world based on hate. Or we can try to make things better.” – Carol Matas


215. “A righteous man falls down seven times and gets up.” – King Solomon


216. “There is a wide range of views within the Jewish community, so it is not monolithic.” – Barack Obama


217. “It is not your responsibility to finish the work, but neither are you free to desist from it.” (Pirkei Avot 2:16)


218. “I’m Jewish. I don’t work out. If God had wanted us to bend over, He would have put diamonds on the floor.” – Joan Rivers


219. One of Moses’s deepest frustrations – we sense it throughout the biblical narrative – is the sheer time it takes for people to change. In the end, it would take a new generation and a new leader to lead the people across the Jordan and into the promised land. Hence the rabbis’ great saying: “It is not for you to complete the task but neither are you free to desist from it.”


220. A righteous man falls down seven times and gets up. – King Solomon, Proverbs, 24:16.


221. There are no problems, only opportunities for growth. – Rebbetzin Dena Weinberg:


222. “Start with what is right rather than what is acceptable.” – Franz Kafka


223. “A fence to wisdom is silence.”


224. During the biblical era there were three different leadership roles: kings, priests and prophets. The king was a political leader. The priest was a religious leader. The prophet was a visionary, a man or woman of ideals and ideas. In Judaism, leadership is an emergent property of multiple roles and perspectives. No one person can lead the Jewish people.


225. Shun a bad neighbour!


226. “Well, I just said that Jesus and I were both Jewish and that neither of us ever had a job, we never had a home, we never married and we traveled around the countryside irritating people.” – Kinky Friedman


227. “Let the Good in me connect with the good in others, until the world is transformed through the compelling power of love.” – Rabbi Nachman of Breslov


228. “For a just and lasting peace, here is my solemn pledge to you: by dedication and patience we will continue, as long as I remain your President, to work for this simple -- this single -- this exclusive goal.”

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