Every now and then I am overcome with a yearning and longing for my teacher, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, who passed on the 3rd of Tammuz 5754 (1994). Granted, there is a strong emotional longing, similar to my longing for my late mother, who I miss dearly. But this longing is also for the Jewish people and for our world. As has been said so often, the Rebbe was much more than a spiritual leader for the Chabad-Lubavitch community. The Rebbe was a light in the darkness of our world, a man who brought leadership to a world on the brink of despair.

A world of wars, pain, death and sadness. Oh, how often I look into eyes of people and see sadness. And in this darkness, those of us who have learned from the Rebbe's wisdom have gained a sense of hope and joy in our daily lives.

Look at what's happening in Israel, in Iraq, and in oh so many other places in the world. Look at the people you know at work. Look at your family. Look into your own heart. What is lacking in all of these places? Leadership! Sure, there are rulers and dictators in many places. In other places, there are "leaders" who are meant to represent a people, but have no moral backbone with which to do so. This is true in the global picture, and it's true in our own little worlds — the worlds of our homes and our own person. How often do we act as dictators to our families? How often do we torture and punish ourselves for our own misdeeds? And how often, conversely, do we lack backbone and staying power in guiding those dependent upon us, or in controlling our own behavior and thoughts, speech and actions?

In the Book of Numbers we read how Korach takes Moses to task for assigning his brother Aaron as High Priest. He essentially challenges the leadership of Moses himself. "All of the people are holy, so why do you lift yourselves above the rest?" G‑d's answer is that leadership, true leadership is not about an individual lifting him/herself above the rest. Rather, it's about identifying with the people in one's charge and dedicating one's life to nurturing that. Indeed, there are and have been very few Moses' in our history.

But the Rebbe was one such leader. The Rebbe was driven by the vision of a whole and complete world. A world healed from its wounds and sufferings. A Jewish people who were no longer sought out for death, but rather a people that would be sought out for life and love.

The Rebbe was a true leader. A selfless individual with high moral standards and the backbone to stand up for them. He reached out and loved all people, Jew and non-Jew, diplomat or day laborer, righteous or sinner. Yet his love didn't hold him back from saying what needed to be said, doing what needed to be done, for whomsoever it would benefit.

This is what I long for. Someone I can look up to to teach me by example what a leader should be. So that I can be a better leader of myself, of my family, my community and, in effect, the entire world. For each human being is a leader in the particular job for which G‑d has put him or her in this world. Namely, to impact, inspire, transform and sanctify our world.