Voting for Flawed Leadership

Sex scandals. Abuse of power. Arranged “hits”. Family conflicts. Challenges to the country’s security. Endless battles with foreign forces. Clashes between religious forces and the state.

Think we’re talking about the American political scene and campaigns?  Guess again.

These issues are representative of the rulership of King David, who is described as the forerunner of the Messiah in Judaism!

During a community-wide series of events, led by Temple Kol Ami Emanu-El and its Women of Reform Judaism chapter (and with the proud partnership of Orloff Central Agency for Jewish Education and others), Geraldine Brooks’ remarkable book, The Secret Chord, became a catalyst for exploring King David and the biblical books of Samuel and Kings across the Broward County, FL area


Interesting how, in an election year that is presenting candidates (at many levels) with significant character and ethical flaws, so few people have bothered to look back to the Tanakh / Bible to see what it has to say about leaders with flaws.

My takeaways from the Biblical texts (and I’d like to know yours) are:

  • The characteristics of a person that bring him/her to a position of power are also the same character traits that can easily get him/her into trouble
  • Leaders aren’t perfect. They are flawed. Because they are human
  • One, or even a series of, mistakes and errors of judgement do not necessarily disqualify a person from ruling a country.
  • Failure to acknowledge mistakes and errors, and continuing to deny any wrongs, might disqualify that person
  • Good leaders take critics, especially critics with a solid moral compass, seriously
  • If you look for perfection in who you elect to lead, you’re going to be disappointed consistently
  • Even the person whose name is associated with the coming of a messianic era, was deeply flawed, yet also a great man

What are your observations?

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