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Commemorating a Milestone: The Ten Commandments and Moses’ Leadership Legacy This Week

Moses: An Eternal Guide, from the Ten Commandments to Art and Leadership

In the week marked by the Jewish calendar, we commemorate two events that have profoundly shaped history: Moses’ flight from Egypt and the giving of the Ten Commandments. These episodes have not only molded faith and history but also cast a spotlight on the extraordinary figure of Moses, a man who, despite initially being fearful and hesitant, transformed into a leader of exceptional strength and charisma.

Moses’ story is an incredible narrative of courage and transformation. His escape from Egypt, followed by leading his people through the desert to the Promised Land, is a tale of resilience and unwavering faith. This journey, fraught with obstacles and miracles, underscores his ability to surmount the most daunting challenges and inspire his people to follow him.

In art, the figure of Moses has been immortalized in several significant works. The engraving by Giulio Bonasone, displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Moses Telling the Israelites to Gather the Manna and Moses Striking the Rock,” vividly illustrates his ability to provide sustenance and guidance to the Israelites in the desert.

Moses Telling the Israelites to Gather the Manna and Moses Striking the Rock – Giulio Bonasone, 16h Century – The Met Museum Collection

Moreover, Michelangelo’s sculpture of Moses, located in the Basilica of San Pietro in Vincoli in Rome, depicts Moses with the Tablets of the Law, symbolizing his authority and responsibility as a leader and lawmaker.

Michelangelo’s Moses, (c. 1513–1515), San Pietro in Vincoli, Rome

The week of “Yitro” is not just a time to remember past events but also to reflect on the enduring impact of Moses’ leadership. His story teaches us that true leadership emerges not only from innate qualities but can also arise through challenges and personal growth. Moses, through his life and deeds, remains a timeless example of authentic leadership, showing how strength, courage, and wisdom can carve a path of faith and hope for humanity.