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“And Moshe called to Yehoshua and said unto him before the eyes of the Bnei Yisroel – Be strong and of good courage for you shall go with this people into the land… And you shall cause them to inherit it.” (31:7)

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  Rashi describes an apparent difference between Moshe’s imperative to Yehoshua regarding his leadership over the Bnei Yisroel as being in accordance with the direction and counsel of the elders, as opposed to Hashem’s charge to Yehoshua, as being clearly independent of everyone, relying totally upon his own judgement and understanding. Even though there clearly seems to be a sort of contradiction between Moshe’s words to those of Hashem, we must note that in actuality they complement each other. Yehoshua, upon taking the reins of leadership of Bnei Yisroel should definitely consult with the elders seeking their advice and guidance on all matters regarding the leadership of the people. However, he must be aware that the final decision and ultimate responsibility remains in his domain. He must act in accordance with his own decisions. This is true of every leader and teacher in Klal Yisroel. We are enjoined to study under teachers who are great scholars, whose own personalities have been developed from the Torahs blueprint for life. Their teachings and guidance should serve as a vehicle for our acquisition of the proper methods of study and scholarship. However, the end result must be that we ourselves must understand even the most difficult passages and be capable of rendering the correct elucidation of these halachos. One who merely repeats by rote that which he studied from his mentor, without understanding the complete development and derivation of this halacha, is not qualified to teach and should not be relied upon