Exodus 18:1–20:23

When Is Yitro Read?

/ 20 Shevat 5783
/ 24 Shevat 5784
/ 17 Shevat 5785


  • Yitro brings his daughter Zipporah and her two sons, Gershom and Eliezer, to his son-in-law Moses. (18:1-12)
  • Moses follows Yitro's advice and appoints judges to help him lead the people. (18:13-27)
  • The Children of Israel camp in front of Mount Sinai. Upon hearing the covenant, the Israelites respond, "All that God has spoken we will do." (19:1-8)
  • After three days of preparation, the Israelites encounter God at Mount Sinai. (19:9-25)
  • God gives the Ten Commandments aloud directly to the people. (20:1-14)
  • Frightened, the Children of Israel ask Moses to serve as an intermediary between God and them. Moses tells the people not to be afraid. (20:15-18)

Ten Minutes of Torah: Yitro Commentary

The Radical Lessons of Revelation

By: Rabbi Hilly Haber

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.

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