Dvar Torah Parshat Bamidbar 5771 2011

When Hashem instructs Moshe to take a census of the Children of Israel in the Wilderness, he charges him to appoint a representative from every tribe to serve as part of the census takers. This individual had to be: ISH ROSH LEVET AVOTAV HU, “…a man who is a leader of his father’s household.” (Num. 1,4)

The word used to designate a leader of the household is ROSH which in Hebrew means head. Implied in this choice of word is a considerably noteworthy meaningful message. The leader should be the head of his family, that is, he is to be the guide and the one who sets the direction for his tribe.

This implies that he should not be chosen on the merits of his father or his inherited status. He must be a leader in his own merit. Too often we find people attain positions of leadership, not because they are capable or worthy of the position but because of who their family is or who they know. This can be disastrous if they really have no inherent ability.

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