December 8, 2023 |


Yitro as a Ba'al Teshuva

There is a group of Jews known as ba'alei teshuva, or masters of return. They are men and women who have relinquished a less- or non-religious past and have embraced a more active and committed Jewish life. A phenomenon often associated with them is their extreme optimism and joy about getting...

Parshat Yitro: Walkthrough

Meanwhile, Jethro (Moses’father-in-law, the Midianite priest) heard about how God had taken the Israelites out of Egypt. He took Moses’ wife and sons (whom Moses had sent away) [!!], and brought them to the desert where Moses was camped, near the mountain of God. [Recall, this is where Moses had...

Asking Good Questions

A Jewish high school senior once came to talk to me about dating non-Jewish girls. He knew I would be opposed, but he was hoping he could demolish me in argument. Then, he could tell his parents that the Rabbi didn't have any good answers and neither do you. Neither he nor his parents were...

My video divrei Torah on parasha Yitro from by Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg

Ten Commandments JewU 22

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) - Yitro (2)

Parshah Yitro marks a turning point in our history as it recounts the encounter and covenant at Sinai. It opens, "On the third new moon after the Israelites had gone forth from the land of Egypt, on that very day, they entered the wilderness of Sinai." (Exo. 19:1) Naturally the rabbis wondered why...

Yitro 5769/2009: "Exodus and Relational Authority"

It is striking to note the number of times God, during the first few Torah portions of Exodus, concludes and justifies a command with the words "Ani Adonai / I am God." Having God acknowledged by Egypt (see Ex. 7:5, 14:4,18) and by the Israelites (see Ex. 6:7, 10:2) seems exceedingly important,...

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...


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