This Shabbos we read Parshas Vaaira. The Parsha begins with the instructions of Hashem to Moses to lead the Jewish people. “And Hashem spoke to Moses and Aaron, and He command them about the Jewish people” (Exodus 6:13). What exactly did Hashem command Moses and Aaron? The Torah is very vague about this. Rashi explains that Hashem commanded them to lead the Jewish people gently. Moses and Aaron were told that they must have patience when dealing with their charges. The Shelah explains that this is a lesson for every person who is in a position of leadership. A person of authority must make sure not to get upset at the people he or she is dealing with. They must not scream or shout at them. They must act to them in a very patient and refined manner. The Shelah adds that the reward for acting gently is very great.
A person can view their position of authority as an opportunity to boost their own ego. They demand people listen to them to satisfy their own feelings of pride. Such a person will get angry when they are not listened to simply because their feelings of power have been compromised. The people that they lead are simply a means for them to satisfy their own desires to build their ego.
The Torahs expectation of leadership is just the opposite. A leader must focus on those he or she is leading. Their care and compassion for them leads to a sincere understanding of what may be their short comings. A true leader wants to help them rather than get angry with them.
In life, positions of leadership come in many different forms. A father and mother have to lead their family; older siblings lead younger siblings; an employer has to lead his or her employees. In any position of leadership the Torah teaches us that we have to always try to help those that we are leading we must never get angry at them. If we succeed in this we are fulfilling the responsibility that Hashem has bestowed upon us.