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Are our leaders wise?

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks teaches us that the Bible calls for our leaders to be wise – civil leaders as well as religious. They must always keep learning.

I would add that to keep learning, you need humility. If you think you know everything already, you will close your mind to new, and perhaps vital, information. Doing that could literally cost the lives of the people you serve.


“There is, though, one positive and exceptionally important dimension of royalty. The King is commanded to study constantly:”

“…and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees and not consider himself better than his fellow Israelites and turn from the law to the right or to the left. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel. (Deut. 17:19-20)

“The great statesmen of modern times understood this, at least in secular terms. William Gladstone, four times Prime Minister of Britain, had a library of 32,000 books. We know – because he made a note in his diary every time he finished reading a book – that he read 22,000 of them. Assuming he did so over the course of eighty years (he lived to be 88), this meant that he read on average 275 books a year, or more than five each week for a lifetime. He also wrote many books on a wide variety of topics from politics to religion to Greek literature, and his scholarship was often impressive.” 

“The two greatest Kings of early Israel, David and Solomon, were both authors, David of Psalms, Solomon (according to tradition) of The Song of Songs, Proverbs and Kohelet/Ecclesiastes. The key biblical word associated with Kings is chochmah, “wisdom.” Solomon in particular was known for his wisdom…”https://rabbisacks.org/shoftim-5781/

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