Pearls of Rashi: Parshas Yisro II

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The name of this week’s Parshah is Yisro. The reason for this is because Yisro, Moshe Rabbeinu’s father-in-law, features prominently in our Torah portion. He traveled from his home in Midian to visit his son-in-law and the Jewish nation.

Yisro objected to the way things were done in the wilderness. The Torah tells us that[1] “it happened on the next day that Moshe sat down to judge the nation, and the people stood before Moshe from the morning until the evening.” Yisro objected to the fact that Moshe alone judged the people.

He suggested a hierarchy of judges from among the most significant people of the nation; they should only bring the most complex cases before Moshe. In this manner, the people would not have to wait for judgment “from the morning until the evening.” Not only did Moshe agree to his father-in-law’s suggestion, but G-d Almighty himself agreed. This is the procedure that we have followed throughout history.

The Torah is not a history book; it only tells us about an event if it teaches us a lesson in the service of Hashem. Why does the Torah specify that Yisro suggested “the next day?” Furthermore, the Torah does not even tell us when “the next day” was. Which day did it follow?

Rashi cites the words “it happened on the next day” and explains it as follows. “This was the day after Yom Kippur … Now, what is meant by “on the next day”? On the day after Moshe descended from the mountain.”

From this, we can learn an essential lesson in our Divine service. No matter how great we are, no matter how lofty a level we have reached, there is always room for us to improve. Yom Kippur had just passed, and G-d forgave the Jews. Our leader had just come down from Mount Sinai. Yet we were able to soar to even greater heights! Yisro brought about a (seemingly) new aspect of the Torah. Even after Yom Kippur, it was possible to attain an even greater level.

This brings to mind the story with the Rebbe Rashab. He was asked what our service of Hashem must be after Yom Kippur. This follows ten days of Teshuvah, anointing Hashem as our King, and attaining forgiveness. The Rebbe answered that “now we must first do Teshuvah.”

Whatever level we have reached, we must constantly strive to go even higher wherever we are.

I wish one and all a good Shabbos!

Rabbi Shmuel MendelsohnAdapted from Farbrengen of Tu Bishvat, 5742


DEDICATED IN HONOR OF THE LUBAVITCHER REBBE

IN LOVING MEMORY OF
DR. MINDEL RIVKA (MURIEL) BAS REB MENACHEM MENDEL SHLOMO ע”ה STITT
PASSED AWAY ON SHABBAT PARSHAS LECH LECHA, 10 MAR-CHESHVAN, 5782
MAY HER SOUL BE BOUND IN THE ETERNAL BOND OF LIFE

IN HONOR OF
The Soldiers of Tzivos Hashem Chaim and Aiden Oded שיחיו Morris
DEDICATED BY THEIR PARENTS
Rabbi & Mrs. Menachem M. and Chaya Mushka שיחיו Morris


[1]. Our Parshah, Shemos 18:13.

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