Oy Bay!

"My heart is in the east, and I in the uttermost west." — Yehudah Ha-Levi

Yitro was his Name-O

Posted by lchaimlover on February 6, 2007

JethroThis week I attended Rabbi Avraham Hershel Levin’s class on Parsha Yitro. He told us the whole story of Yitro (a.k.a. Jethro & Father-in-Law of Moshe), and after an hour I realized Rabbi Levin hadn’t even mentioned the Ten Commandments, which is also in this week’s parsha. So I asked myself, why is a man so much more important then the Ten Commandments? Why is this week’s parsha, the parsha with the top ten, the Charelton Heston immortalized Ten Commandments, why is this parsha named after Jethro? Yitro was a priest of Midian, an idol worshipper, who has converted to Judaism. He had been around the block and seen a few things, and after all this he has realized that Judaism is the way to go. What does this say to us? At this point the Jews have come out of Egypt, but they still have the sand of Egypt on their backs. Even though they have heard that this is the greatest way, they have seen G-d’s miracles, they can’t quite let go of the fact that we came out of Egypt. But, that was that generation of Jews. They took a chance and, not knowing what the outcome was, they come out with an amazing prize. G-d, the greatest and foremost of all gods was on their (our) side. So how can we, the current generation of Jews, forget this? So this is what Yitro is all about, understanding that while there may be a lot of more interesting paths, at the end of the day, being Jewish ain’t so bad, in fact it’s the tops. So we need to learn the lesson of Yitro, shake the dust of Egypt off and embrace Israel and the future, and keep Egypt in the past.

(Alan Bates as Jethro, in “In the Beginning…”)


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