August 23, 2019 |

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) - Yitro

Modern readers of Torah may have problems accepting some of the things described therein. Whether it’s the creation story, or the flood, or the parting of the Red Sea, or Balaam’s ass, we have to decide: Did this really happen? Should we take it as allegory? Are there traditional or modern interpretations that provide a context for us? However the most unbelievable event in the Torah actually occurs in this week’s Parshah Yitro. Moses’s father-in-law tells him he’s working too hard! “You will surely wear yourself out… For the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone.” (Exo. 18:18). Does this sound like any father-in-law you know? Nonetheless Jethro’s advice to Moses – to delegate responsibility and not take it all on himself – is sound, and among the most practical of Torah lessons. “Make it easier for yourself by letting them share the burden with you,” he advises (18:22). It’s a good lesson, as is the underlying one: you never can tell who will have something of importance to teach you.

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Daniel M. Kimmel

Joined: October 2, 2007

Daniel M. Kimmel is a Boston area film critic, lecturer and author. He does these weekly mini-lessons for the Mishkan Tefila Brotherhood's newsletter. You are free to use them for similar purposes.

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