Monday Devotional: Let Others Shine
The Fellowship | March 2, 2020
“Have Aaron your brother brought to you from among the Israelites, along with his sons Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, so they may serve me as priests. Make sacred garments for your brother Aaron to give him dignity and honor.” — Exodus 28:1-2
Each week in synagogue, Jews read through the Torah from Genesis to Deuteronomy. This week’s Torah portion is Tetzaveh, which means “contributions,” from Exodus 27:20-30:10, and the Haftorah is from 1 Samuel 15:1-34.
My father, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, used to joke that it took him thirty years to become an overnight success! No one saw the decades that he put in with sweat and tears, alone and often criticized, to build the organization that ultimately became The Fellowship. Yet, once he achieved success and recognition, instead of enjoying the prestige and opportunities that followed, my father gave them to me.
When the United States opened its embassy in Jerusalem, The Fellowship received an invitation for one to the opening ceremony. My father insisted that I attend the historic event in his place. He said, “Just as the moving of the embassy to Jerusalem is the future, you, Yael, are the future.” Again, when we received one invitation to the Hanukkah celebration at the White House with President Trump, my father decided that I should go. He said, “You go, it’s your turn now.”
My father selflessly and repeatedly stepped aside and gave me the spotlight.
From the time of Moses’ birth in Exodus chapter 2 until the end of the Five Books of Moses in Deuteronomy chapter 34, Moses’s name is mentioned in every single Torah portion — except for the one we read this week. This particular portion deals with Aaron’s appointment as the High Priest. This was Aaron’s moment. Moses, in his great humility, gladly stepped aside so that Aaron could shine.
True humility is being able to joyfully move aside so that others can have their moment. This is also the hallmark of any great leader. A good leader can lead the way. However, a great leader can empower others so that they can forge paths of their own. This is what my father did for me and for that, I am forever grateful.
I want to encourage us all to look for those opportunities in our own lives where we can step back in order to help others advance. For a parent, it may mean giving a child a chance to do a “grownup” job. At work, it may mean giving an employee a shot at doing something new and extraordinary.
Step aside, and watch them shine!