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Yitro

Yitro

Jethro
Exodus
18:1–20:23

Jethro, priest of Midian, Moses' father-in-law, heard all that God had done for Moses and for Israel, God's people, how the Eternal had brought Israel out from Egypt. - Exodus 18:1

Summary: 
  • Yitro brings his daughter Zipporah and her two sons, Gershom and Eliezer, to his son-in-law Moses. (18:1-12)
  • Moses follows Yitro's advice and appoints judges to help him lead the people. (18:13-27)
  • The Children of Israel camp in front of Mount Sinai. Upon hearing the covenant, the Israelites respond, "All that God has spoken we will do." (19:1-8)
  • After three days of preparation, the Israelites encounter God at Mount Sinai. (19:9-25)
  • God gives the Ten Commandments aloud directly to the people. (20:1-14)
  • Frightened, the Children of Israel ask Moses to serve as an intermediary between God and them. Moses tells the people not to be afraid. (20:15-18)

When do we read Yitro?

2017 Feb 18 /22 Shevat, 5777
2018 Feb 3 /18 Shevat, 5778

RECENT COMMENTARY

  • By Beth Kalisch

    The Revelation on Mt. Sinai . . . the giving of the Ten Commandments . . . our Torah portion, Yitro, describes the scene with great fanfare. The text has given cinematographers plenty of good material: thunder and lightning, smoke rising up into the sky, the whole mountain shaking violently, and the loud blaring of a horn, sometimes specifically called a shofar. Miraculous? Inspiring? Awesome? Yes, our Sages teach, but it was also really, really noisy.

    When the medieval rabbis read about Sinai, they focus our attention on that seemingly unimportant detail of just how loud it all must have been. One medieval commentator, the French rabbi known as Rashbam, teaches that the description of God answering Moses "in thunder" is really a metaphor about the volume of God's voice—God had to shout to be heard over all of the other noise at Sinai! (see Rashbam on Exodus 19:19). And God was shouting... Continue Reading

  • Torah for Tots

    Tradition! Tradition! Tradition! Tradition! Tradition! Tradition!

  • Torah for Tweens

    Jethro (Yitro), after whom this parashah is named, is the father-in-law of Moses.

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