Pinchas: Passing the Mantle

In Parashat Pinchas, Moshe asked God to appoint someone to take his place as the leader of Bnai Yisrael. What triggered this request from Moshe? The Midrash in Bamidbar Rabbah 21:13 explains that when Moshe saw that the five daughters of Zelophchad received their father’s inheritance, he began to wonder about who would receive his inheritance and take over his position as leader of Bnai Yisrael. The fact that Moshe recognized the need for new leadership and a smooth transition to this new era for Bnai Yisrael speaks to his qualities as a leader. Moshe is instructed to lay his hands upon Yehoshua in order to initiate the transfer of power and authority to him.

  • What do you think constitutes a healthy leadership transition for a community or institution?
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