Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Yitro is one of my favorite Torah portions. The reason is that it depicts one of the things I like most about Judaism: how practical it is.

Here's the story of Yitro in brief: Yitro is Moses' father-in-law. He comes to visit Moses in the desert shortly after the Children of Israel leave Egypt. He sees that the people come to Moses all day long so he can hear their troubles and administer justice. Yitro watches this for a while, and says: "You are working too hard! You can't do this all alone. You are going to burn yourself out! Choose some good men, and have them help you judge the people, and you can handle the most difficult cases."

This is just such a wonderful and practical piece of advice! And so modern!

I am chanting a portion of Torah in a few weeks from Yitro, and I love it! Here is what it says:
Moses took his father-in-law's advice, and did all that he said. He chose capable men from all Israel, and he appointed them as administrators over the people, leaders of thousands, leaders of hundreds, leaders of fifties, and leaders of tens. They administered justice on a regular basis, bringing the difficult cases to Moses, and judging the simple cases by themselves. Moses let his father-in-law depart, and he went away to his homeland.

1 comment:

FollowUpQuestion said...

My nephew's Bar Mitzvah was this weekend and during the service the Rabbi said that the lines of the 10 Commandments (also from this parsha) are written on the walls of the U.S. Supreme Court. Now I see why... those lines you recited connect directly to our justice system!