Torah Commentary

Torah Commentary

“What? Why?”

Yitro is frequently praised in Jewish sources for inspiring his prophet son-in-law, Moses, to set up a judicial system and delegate his many responsibilities so that the Israelites could continue building their civilization. We might understand Yitro as the first cross-cultural consultant.

The Radical Lessons of Revelation

The revelation at Sinai was a radical act: our Sages understood it as such, and contemporary scholars are still grappling with its implications. Its radical nature was apparent not only in the public and communal nature of the revelation, but also in the ways in which God's presence was described, and in the strikingly novel relationship that God creates with Israel.

Accepting Advice From Your Father-in-Law

This week’s Torah portion, Parashat Yitrois remarkable. Only six Torah portions (out of a total of 54) are named for one of the individuals advancing the drama within its text. ...  And this portion is named for Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro (Yitro) — a non-Israelite, Midianite priest. In the portion, Yitro offers sage advice and Moses accepts it.