Shmoth (Exodus) 2.12 “He turned this way and that way, and he saw that there was no man; so he struck the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.”
In the Mishna, Hillel declares, “In a place where there are no men, strive to be a man.” This is usually taken to mean that when other people are acting in an indifferent or cowardly fashion, one should stand up and be a mature, courageous human being.
Listen to Tablet Magazine Parsha in Progress Episode 7: The Leadership of Moses
podcast hosted by Abigail Pogrebin. author of ‘My Jewish Year: 18 Holidays, One Wondering Jew,’ and Rabbi Dov Linzer, head of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah.