Our new Prime Minister has chosen her Cabinet. Unsurprisingly, it is made up of individuals who expressed support for her during her campaign.

The challenge facing the Prime Minister – indeed, any leader, is how to balance supporters who will reinforce your vision, with those who will confront you to consider alternative perspectives.

Matthew Syed, in his book, Rebel Ideas, stresses the importance of bringing together people with different perspectives who will not be afraid to offer cognitive diversity.

Former Prime Minister David Cameron, in his autobiography, For The Record, writes: Iwanted the big beasts inside the Cabinet rather than sniping from the backbenches.Inevitably, big personalities with big egos can rub up against each other and create tension which can easily disintegrate into unproductive rancour. Some leaders, like Abraham Lincoln, had a superb gift for creating and managing what has been referred to as a Team of Rivals. Much more common is the scenario where Cabinet rebels have resigned or been reshuffled for steadfastly sticking to their opinions.

This week’s parasha teaches us the commandment:

“You shall not plough with an ox and a donkey together.” [Devarim 22:10]

Whilst this commandment forms one of the chukim or statutes, for which there is no clear rational reason, many commentators, over the ages, have given insights into the significance of this mitzvah.

The medieval work Sefer Hachinuch sees this commandment as a warning for harmonious relations in the human workplace. Whether you are a Prime Minister or a Factory Manager, a Company CEO or a farmer, don’t put in yoke people who are totally unsuited to working together. Managers at every level have a responsibility to ensure that the members of their team are deployed in a manner to avoid breakdown, whether around the Cabinet table or on the shop floor. To ignore such advice would not only be foolish, but would come under the category of ‘You shall not plough with the ox and donkey together.’

To put in truss means to bind together. Maybe the new Prime Minister will be able to harness the skills that her name implies? To put in truss a team that can best draw on diverse skills for tackling the enormous problems our country faces. For all our sakes, we wish her brachavehatzlacha.

Shabbat Shalom