Welcome to the concise, relevant Lelamed Weekly Dvar. Your
comments, suggestions and questions are always welcome. Enjoy...
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Parshat Yitro describes Yitro hearing of the travels and trials
of the Jews, Yitro being moved to convert, coming to Moshe for
the conversion, and then leaving Moshe. If Yitro was so moved,
why would he ever leave a situation where he's surrounded by
G-d, clouds, heavenly food, and Moshe as a teacher? And how
could Moshe, as a leader, allow Yitro to just leave the camp?
After all, he was the only Jew NOT to have witnessed the giving
of the Torah!
Rabbi Leibowitz asked this question in Majesty of Man, and
answers by explaining that Yitro was SO moved by G-d, the Torah
and the Jews that he felt that he had to go back to his home to
try to convert his family and friends. Yitro was willing to give
up being surrounded by what he obviously believed in and WANTED
to be around, just for the sake of others! If this was the
determination of someone that had no responsibilities toward the
people he was trying to help, how much more determination should
we demonstrate when we actually HAVE a responsibility to help
one another!? The Parsha is named after Yitro because he was
willing to change his life for Judaism. He was so proud of it
that he didn't hide his Judaism, but went out and told others
how beautiful it was. If we expressed the Yitro that we
undoubtedly have within us.