Praiseworthy Leaders

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Rashi, Lev. 4:22 (link), quotes the Midrash and Gemara:

Fortunate is the generation whose leader is concerned to bring an atonement for his inadvertent transgression — all the more so that he regrets his intentional transgressions.

The Maharal in Gur Aryeh explains:

The generation is praiseworthy because they did not sin but have a leader who, if he sins, regrets his mistake. We can also explain that specifically here it says that the generation is praiseworthy because from that he [the leader] regrets his mistake, it is clear that he is not embarrassed to say “I sinned” and does not say “I am great and important, how can I say ‘I sinned’?”

About Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of, a leading website on Orthodox Jewish scholarly subjects, and the Book Editor of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Action magazine. He writes a popular column on issues of Jewish law and thought featured in newspapers and magazines, including The Jewish Link, The Jewish Echo and The Vues. In the past, he has served as the President of the small Jewish publisher Yashar Books and as the Managing Editor of OU Press. Rabbi Student serves on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America. He also serves on the Editorial Boards of Jewish Action magazine, the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society and the Achieve Journal of Behavioral Health, Religion & Community, as well as the Board of OU Press. He has published five English books, the most recent titled Search Engine volume 2: Finding Meaning in Jewish Texts -- Jewish Leadership, and served as the American editor for Morasha Kehillat Yaakov: Essays in Honour of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.

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