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This week's Torah Portion: 

17 YITRO - JETHRO - EXODUS 18:1-20:23

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וַיִּשְׁמַע יִתְרֹו כֹהֵן מִדְיָן חֹתֵן מֹשֶׁה אֵת כָּל־אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה אֱלֹהִים לְמֹשֶׁה וּלְיִשְׂרָאֵל עַמֹּו כִּֽי־הֹוצִיא יְהוָה אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל מִמִּצְרָֽיִם

v'yish'ma yitro cohen midyan choteyn moshe eht kol-asher asah elohim l'moshe u'l'yisra'el amo ki-hotzi adonai eht-yisra'el mimitzrayim

"Now Yitro the priest of Midyan, Moshe's father-in-law, heard about all that God had done for Moshe and for Isra'el his people, how ADONAI had brought Isra'el out of Egypt."


Yitro is the name of Moshe’s father-in-law. As such, he is the first character named in this week’s portion, giving the parashah its title. The commentary this week proves to be lengthy; printing is suggested if you have that luxury. As I stated before, one of the primary reasons that HaShem delighted in miraculously delivering the people from Egypt was so that he could demonstrate his mighty power in all of the earth. In the opening few verses of Parashat Yitro, we see that this powerful deliverance has already reached the ears of the priest of Midyan.

Moshe is a proven leader of the people. As an eighty year-old man, he and his brother became the instruments in leading the greatest “freedom march” in Isra’el’s history. But now, as the “dust is beginning to settle” the people find the need to express their individual concerns to this humble man of God. Moshe finds himself hearing matter after matter, day in and day out. This displeases Yitro who wisely suggests that he delegate his God-given authority to others able and willing to provide counsel for the people. Here we catch a glimpse of the utter “teachable-ness” of the man Moshe. Rather than resist Yitro’s request, Moshe humbly accepts his advice.
— Parashat Yitro