Moses then asked Sichon, king of the Amorites, for permission to pass through his land into Canaan. Sichon refused, so Moses led the Jewish people into battle against him, conquering Amorite territory as far north as the Yabok River. The same occurred with Og, king of the Amorites of Bashan: The Jewish people defeated him and thereby conquered the northern Amorite territory as well.
The Need for Leadership
וַיִּשְׁלַח יִשְׂרָאֵל מַלְאָכִים אֶל סִיחֹן מֶלֶךְ הָאֱמֹרִי וגו': (במדבר כא:כא)
Israel sent messengers to Sichon, king of the Amorites. Numbers 21:21

The medieval sage Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki (known universally by his initials as “Rashi”) points out that the Torah says that Moses sent messengers to Edom but that Israel sent messengers to Sichon, even though in both cases Moses sent the messengers on behalf of all the Jewish people. As Rashi notes, this teaches us that Moses and the Jewish people are essentially equivalent. The true Jewish leader does not just represent the people, he is one with them in essence. His affairs are not divided into his private and public lives. He is a public servant to his very core.

The true Jewish leader’s total identification with his people and his selfless devotion to them makes him the conduit through which G‑d provides all their material and spiritual needs. Therefore, not only is he one with them: they are one with him. As such, they can rise to his perspective on reality and share his Divine consciousness and his inspired life, even if they have not yet refined themselves enough to be worthy of these on their own.1