Why mentors look for two sets of tablets

Rabbi Eli Levin posed a very interesting question to his community on the Sabbath. Which set of tablets had more relevance to the Children of Israel in the Sinai desert?

Was it the first set, which were tumultuously shattered by Moses, following on from the story of the golden calf? Or does the emphasis lie with the second and complete set?

The rabbi discussed the point with his congregation, eventually drawing them to the conclusion that in fact both are needed in life. Strange as it may seem, there are commentators who note that on at least two occasion in the book of Deuteronomy, G-d almost appears to be thanking Moses for his initial act of destruction.

What’s going on? The broken tablets did not go to waste. Eventually, I believe that they too were stored in the Temple in Jerusalem. They represent what could have been. That show how many things in life are started but not completed, yet we are encouraged to continue onwards. They remind us that sometimes our failures also contain many good points.

And, of course, the second set shows what we can all achieve if we really try and produce a “quality result”.

There is a parallel here to the work of mentors, at least in my work as a business mentor.

To simplify what happens in my line of work: People will turn to me with their issue or problem. “What can be done?” they cry out.  Gradually together you chart what is holding up progress and then create a way forward. And then on to the hoped-for perfection.

However, in the background is the thought of what went wrong in the past. I never reject all of the old stories. At the very least, these people were (and still are) full of vision and good intentions. Quite often, there were some very strong commercial positives that have been smothered or snuffed out by poor mistakes. 

And where does the mentor come in?

Steve Jobs once called this an element of “joining the dots”. Not all parts of your life are golden successes. But, the mentor can see the overall path that the client cannot, clarifying the lessons of the good and the bad elements. And that is why we are often encouraged to take two tablets.

Explore posts in the same categories: Business, Jerusalem


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