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Yitro(Exodus 18-20)

Yitro 5760

GOOD MORNING!  It's time for the annual Superbowl joke! A man attending the Superbowl sat next to an empty seat. Incredulously, he asked the woman sitting on the other side of the seat how it's possible to have an empty seat when they're being scalped at a thousand bucks a shot? The woman answered that the seat belonged to her late husband. The man extended his sympathies and said, "Gee, I would have thought a relative or a friend would have jumped at the opportunity to use the seat." The woman replied, "I would have thought so, too ... but they all insisted on going to the funeral."

Here is a beautiful piece I received, attributed to Audrey Hepburn.


BEAUTY TIPS

For attractive lips: Speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes: Seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure: Share your food with the hungry.
For poise: Walk with the knowledge you'll never walk alone.
For beautiful hair: Let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.

People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; Never throw out anybody.

Remember: If you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm. As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.

The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.

The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole, but true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows, and the beauty of a woman with passing years-only grows!


Torah Portion of the Week
Yitro

This is the Torah portion containing the giving of the Ten Commandments. (It is important to note that they are the Ten Commandments and not the Ten Suggestions.) Did you know that there are differences in the Ten Commandments as stated here (Exodus 20:1 -14) and related later in Deuteronomy 5:6 - 18? (Here is a suggestion: have your children find the differences as a game at the Shabbat table during dinner; there are approximately 30 differences).

Before the giving of the Ten Commandments the Almighty tells Moses to inform the Jewish people, "And now, if you hearken well to Me and observe My covenant, you shall be to Me the most beloved treasure of all peoples, for Mine is the entire world. You shall be to Me a kingdom of cohanim (role models for the rest of the world) and a holy nation." (Exodus 19:5-6)

Moses' father-in-law, Jethro (Yitro in the Hebrew) joins the Jewish people in the desert, advises Moses on the best way to serve and judge the people -- by appointing a hierarchy of intermediaries -- and then returns home to Midian. The Ten Commandments are given, the first two were heard directly from G- d by every Jew; the people then begged Moses to be their intermediary for the remaining eight because the experience was too intense.

The portion concludes with the Almighty telling Moses to instruct the Jewish people not to make any images of G-d. They were then commanded to make an earthen altar; and eventually to make a stone altar, but without the use of a sword or metal tool.

 

Dvar Torah
based on Love Your Neighbor by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

The Torah states, "I, Your father-in-law, Yitro, am coming to you; and your wife and her two sons with her (are coming)" (Exodus 18:6). Rashi, the great commentator, cites the Mechilta, a Midrash, which tells us that Yitro sent the following message to Moshe: "If you do not want to come to greet me, come for the sake of your wife; and if you do not want to come to greet your wife, come for the sake of her two sons." Why would Yitro send what seems to be a rather bizarre message?

Rabbi Simcha Zissel Ziv clarifies for us that Yitro was a great philosopher; a sincere and honest seeker of truth. He had experimented with every available form of idolatry, and attained the awareness that each was void and meaningless. Finally, he embraced Judaism. However, before he studied Torah, he did not know that it was possible to attain a high spiritual level and still be a part of this world involved with one's fellow human beings.

Therefore, Yitro's message to Moshe was a hint that even though "You might have reached the apex of spirituality, you must nevertheless fulfill your social obligations."

The Torah teaches that one cannot be spiritual if he does not fulfill his obligations to the Almighty, himself and his fellow man. Life is an integrated whole; one must strive to grow in all areas for true spirituality.

Published: January 23, 2000

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