Points to Ponder
Below are some significant questions that emerge relating to issues that we will discuss in the course of the essay below; they are arranged in an approximate order of appearance, although they can be asked again, at different stages of the reading. They comprise triggers, developmental, concluding and overview questions, with a separate section dedicated to Israel.
There are further incidental and topical questions within the chapters.
Some of the questions below relate specifically to Jewish leadership as presented here, but they have not been separated from the flow, in order to enable wider discussion. Others are useful to elicit opinions, but may also be pertinent to leadership and management theory; in addition, they can be addressed in the Jewish leadership context. Questions also lend themselves to discussion in stages, or review, as well as related text study. You are also welcome to add some of your own!
We recommend that you select questions of particular interest before you read, and search for pointers in the article.
- Are leaders born or made?
- What are the characteristics of a leader?
- What are the functions of a leader?
Preview and Review Questions
- What is the nature of the relationship between the leader and the led?
- Of what significance is the social and historical context in which the leader functions?
- What is the classical Jewish view of leadership?
- What is the role of power in the context of Jewish community?
- Can leadership be shared?
- How are leaders selected?
- Is there such a thing as democratic leadership in Judaism?
- To what extent does the sense of mission play a role in successful leadership?
- Is there a relationship between power and justice?
- What is the Jewish view of the relationship between power and freedom?
- Does Judaism “restrict” the powers of the “executive” branch, and if so – how does it do so?
- How have leadership patterns changed in the Jewish community over time?
- Is there a paradigm of Jewish leadership?
- Does Jewish leadership go beyond the questions of who the leaders are and what they do?
- Are there, or should there be, preconditions for leadership in Jewish life (or communities)?
- Can secular and religious leadership co-exist in the Jewish community?
- How have modern Jewish organizational trends changed the nature of Jewish communal leadership in our times?
- Is there such a thing as a 'Professional Leader'?
- Can one distinguish between leaders of the Jewish 'covenantal' community and leaders of the Jewish 'political' community in history / today?
- Who are our spiritual leaders today, and what role do they play in community leadership?
- Who are our Jewish leaders today?
- How did they become our leaders?
- Do our present leaders fit any of these leadership modes - or the paradigms you found?
- Do we look to these leaders for leadership and why / why not?
- Has the political revival of the Jews in Israel impacted on patterns of Jewish leadership, and in what way?
Questions Related to Part Three: Israel
- How does the Israeli political system work?
- What is the constitutional role of the Israel Supreme Court, and does it fulfill its assigned role?
- Are Judaism and Democracy compatible?
- Does Israel have or need a spiritual leader?
- In what ways could power be more equitably shared between the people and the institutions of government in Israel?
- Should the character of the leaders of the Jewish State of Israel be a 'cut above' leaders of other countries?
- How should we relate to the current shape of Israel’s national and political leaders?
- Does Israel need a President?
- Can you identify any Israeli leaders in the past and present who fit the leadership modes or paradigms described in this essay?
- How can Israel best cultivate a successful political leadership?
- If you were a Prophet, what would you say to Israel’s leaders today?
- If you were a Prophet, what would you say to Jewish community leaders today?
- What hopes can we entertain for the future?
- Where do you fit into the picture of the Jewish community and its models of leadership?