Shabbat is more than a day of refraining from worldly activity.

When experienced to its spiritual fullest, its holiness enlightens all other days of the week.

We invite you to enhance your Shabbat with these words of Torah.


Open Chumash in the desert with Balek spelled on top

Leadership and Loyalty (Balak 5781)

Leadership and Loyalty (Balak 5781)

Sacks, Rabbi Lord Jonathan ZT"L
June 25, 2021

“[Bilam was] a man with great gifts, a genuine prophet, a man whom the Sages compared with Moses himself – yet at the same time a figure of a flawed character that eventually led to his downfall and to his reputation as an evil-doer…


What was his flaw?… Bilaam… had supernatural powers. He could bless someone and that person would succeed. He could curse and that person would be blighted by misfortune… He had skills, and he used them with devastating effect. But he had no commitments, no loyalties, no rootedness in humanity…


There are people with great gifts, intellectual and sometimes even spiritual, who nonetheless fail to achieve what they might have done. They lack the basic moral qualities of integrity, honesty, humility and above all loyalty…


Those who are loyal to other people find that other people are loyal to them. Those who are disloyal are eventually distrusted and lose whatever authority they might once have had. Leadership without loyalty is not leadership… We follow those we trust, because they have acted so as to earn our trust. That was what made Moses the great leader Bilaam might have been but never was. Always be loyal to the people you lead.”