Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Yisro

A Change Is In Order

By Rabbi Shlomo Jarcaig

Of the many great tzaddikim (righteous people) the Torah introduces to us, very few are given the honor of having the an entire parsha named for them. Not only was Yisro (Jethro) given the honor of the name of the parsha, but also he was given the parsha that contains the miraculous event of the Giving of the Torah at the Revelation at Sinai, the most important event in the history of the world. What was Yisro's great deed that merited him such a great honor? What lesson is the Torah teaching us by attaching his name to this event?

"Yisro, the minister of Midian, the father-in-law of Moshe, heard everything that G-d did to Moshe and to Israel, His people - that G-d had taken Israel out of Egypt." (Shemos/Exodus 18:1) Rashi, quoting the Talmud (Tractate Zevachim 116b), explains that Yisro was inspired specifically by the miracles of the Splitting of the Sea and War with Amalek. While both of these events were common knowledge to the world community, Yisro gleaned from these miracles the truth of G-d's mastery over the universe. Thus, he traveled to the desert, abandoning his position as priest of Midian, to join the Jewish nation; nobody else made that move.

Rabbi Yechezkel Levenstein (1884-1974; "Reb Chatzkel", as he was known, was the mashgiach/spiritual mentor of two of the most illustrious Yeshivos in the world, Mir (Poland) and Ponovezh (B'nai Brak, Israel)) expounds upon this point that in our own lives we often hear statements we intellectually understand to be true but are emotionally unwilling to make the lifestyle changes these truths would mandate. We hear an inspiring address encouraging us to visit the sick, give charity or perform another mitzvah (Divine command) with which we can identify, but we cannot bring ourselves to change as we know we should. To our chagrin, we cannot bring out the Yisro in each of us.

This would be a significance of Yisro's parsha containing the Revelation at Sinai. Before the Jewish people accepted the Torah, they said "na'aseh v'nishmah" - we will perform the mitzvos and will expend effort to try to understand them. They did indeed demonstrate an eagerness to change themselves in order to fulfill G-d's will, a prerequisite to their receiving the Torah as a nation. But the parsha is still named for Yisro. The children of Israel had been the witnesses to and beneficiaries of G-d's miracles, so their preparedness to change is not as remarkable. Yisro had the same willingness after merely hearing of these events.

Have a Good Shabbos!


Copyright © 2003 by Rabbi Pinchas Avruch and Project Genesis, Inc.

Kol HaKollel is a publication of the Milwaukee Kollel Center for Jewish Studies 5007 West Keefe Avenue; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; 414-447-7999

 

ARTICLES ON BESHALACH AND TU BESHVAT:

View Complete List

Tu B'Shvat Has Arrived
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5758

Bitachon in Redemption
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5773

The Spiritual Effect of Tasting the Manna
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5772

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

It's Raining Bread!
Shlomo Katz - 5759

Split-Sea Soup
Rabbi Label Lam - 5762

The Plague of Darkness of Every Generation
Rabbi Label Lam - 5773

ArtScroll

No Need to Sell Yourself
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5756

Fruits of Holiness
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5762

Turning the Gears
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5757

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Leap of Faith
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5761

Mr. Forgetful
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5758

Spring to Life
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5768

> A Request
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5768

Heaven-Sent
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5762

Back-Seat Driver
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5762

Song of Truth
Shlomo Katz - 5761



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information