Torah Portion:Yitro (Exodus 18:1-20:23) Haftarah:(Isaiah 6:1-7:6 and 9:5-6)
The Torah parsha (portion)
Jethro (Yitro is Moses’ father-in-law and a Medianite) brings Zipporah (Yitro’s daughter), the wife of Moses, and their children to the Israelite camp. *Zipporah became part of the Jewish people and she even circumcised both of their sons because Moses was speaking to G-d. Talk about the first woman moyhel! Jethro suggests to Moses that the burden of leadership is too much for one man to bear. He advises Moses to choose people with whom to share the leadership. Moses heeds his advice. Moses and the Israelites camp at Mt. Sinai.
Moses ascends the mountain and G-d speaks to him, giving him the Ten Commandments.
Concepts and Values from our Torah portion. One is sharing leadership. One way of learning about a society’s values is by analyzing its leaders. A leader ought to embody all the values and ideals that his or her group holds dear. In this Torah portion Moses decides after his discussion with his father-in-law, Jethro, that the burden of leadership is too great for one person to handle. He appoints trustworthy people to help him. Leadership is an important value in Judaism. Caring for a community is a complex task. Jethro appreciated the need to share the burden of responsibility, an important Jewish value.
One of the greatest events in the entire Torah occurs in this Torah portion, the Revelation of G-d at Mount Sinai, in which G-d communicates with the people of Israel. The nature of revelation and its meaning for the Jewish people have been understood in various ways by different branches of Judaism. Some believe that G-d communicated with us in actual words. Others believe that the revelation consisted of a mysterious human encounter with G-d.
Since each Patriarch and Matriarch had to find G-d, and speak with Him, it is only natural that each human being has to also find G-d, and speak to Him. Many believe in the power of prayer to G-d, many people see G-d’s wonders everyday, and some people can hear G-d as He answers their prayers.
I pray to God everyday. Whether it is my morning prayers or the various other prayers daily that I recite. One that I pray to G-d is to do mitzvot for the Jewish people, and other people in our community, country and world. The horrific earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, prayers were recited not only by me, but by many people around the world. One does not have to wait for that special moment or disaster because G-d hears you and He is with each of us everyday.
I truly believe He heard my prayer of working on behalf of the Jewish people and the diverse people living in our community, because I was asked by Senator Mike Lee if I would be interested in being a member of the Utah Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. I asked what was involved and how long the timeframe was going to be. I received a lengthy questionnaire months ago (last Spring). I just received the honor of being appointed to a four year term as a member of the Utah Advisory Committee.
Rabbi Helene Ainbinder