Rethinking Rabbinic Leadership

By Richard Hirsh

Josh Rolnick, The Sh'ma Institute, January 2010

This piece explores the application of tzimtzum (pulling back or self-contraction) to rabbinic leadership, as described by Rabbi Eugene Borowitz in a 1974 essay titled "Tzimtzum: A Mystic Model for Contemporary Leadership". In that essay the application of tzimtzum did not necessarily mean the abdication of leadership but rather a continued application of power with the recognition of holding back at certain points to avoid the abuse of power. This piece concludes by asserting that since the essay was written, Jews have had time to rethink the existing structure through which power is used and held in order to better shape Jewish life.

Topic: Management and Administration, Leadership, Clergy, Values

Name of Publication: Sh'ma: A Journal of Jewish Ideas

Editor: Berrin, Susan

Volume/Issue: 40/665

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Genre: Article

Coverage: United States

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use; Distribute link freely

Bibliographic Information:
Hirsh, Richard. Rethinking Rabbinic Leadership. Sh'ma: A Journal of Jewish Ideas. Josh Rolnick, The Sh'ma Institute. January 2010:


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