Babylonian Talmud, Arachin 17a
1 א
תלמוד בבלי מסכת ערכין דף יז עמוד א
2 ב
פליגי בה רבי יהודה נשיאה ורבנן, חד אמר: דור לפי פרנס, וחד אמר: פרנס לפי דורו. למאי הלכתא? אילימא למעליותא, דמר סבר: אי מעלי דרא מעלי פרנס, ומר סבר: אי מעלי פרנס מעלי דרא
R. Yehudah Nesiah and the Rabbis disagreed (on the interpretation of a verse). One says ‘(the character of) a generation parallels (that of its) leader.’ And the other says ‘(the character of) a leader parallels that of his/her generation.’ What is the issue of disagreement? If you will say (that they are debating) righteousness, that one master holds that if a generation is righteous then their leader is righteous, and the other master holds the reverse; that if a generation’s leader is righteous, then the generation too is righteous. [Translation by Uri L’Tzedek. Edited for gender neutrality]
3 ג

Suggested Discussion Questions:

1. How do R. Yehuda Nesiah and the Rabbis each understand the role of leadership?

2. How are societies influenced by their leaders, and how are leaders influenced by their societies?

4 ד
Time Period: Rabbinic (Maccabees through the Talmud)