A Leader for These Times

March 31, 1968

In the midst of the 1968 presidential campaign, with the nation in crisis, Rabbi Olan asked in his sermon, “Whom shall we choose to lead us back to health?”

He endorsed not Nixon nor Humphrey but a figure from the Bible.  Or at least he exhorted his audience to choose a president with the qualities of this Biblical figure.

“It is not the business of leadership to be popular.”  Rather, like this figure, the president should “speak for the covenant” of the nation, embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

Like this figure, the president should be angry with the people when they forget the covenant.  They should be “the conscience of the nation.”

Which Biblical figure do you think Rabbi Olan endorsed?

Follow this link to read the sermon text.
Follow this link to listen to the audio recording.

*Written by Joshua F. Hirsch*