When the teacher leaves the classroom... - Yitro

Thursday, 4 February, 2021 - 8:26 am

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Dedicated‌ ‌in‌ ‌honor‌ ‌of‌ ‌Rivka‌ ‌bat‌ ‌Nava‌ ‌Sheindel,‌ ‌
her‌ ‌husband‌ ‌and‌ ‌their ‌cute‌ ‌newborn‌ ‌baby‌ ‌boy‌ ‌

A loooong time ago, when we were still in real classes, with real desks and not behind our Zoom screens, the teacher needed sometimes to leave the class for a few minutes. We all remember what happened then. Even if during the class, the children were behaving properly, when the teacher left the class….

Something similar happened to the Jews in Egypt. This week’s Parasha Yitro, tells us about the surprise Yitro, Moses’ father-in-law, felt when he came to the desert to meet and join the Jewish people. Yitro saw that Moses was the only judge for the Jewish people. He was sitting there from morning to evening, listening and judging. Yitro proposed to him to appoint other judges, creating a hierarchy. Only the complex cases would get to Moses.

Yitro’s idea seems easy and simple. It is evidently better to have several judges and not be all dependent on one person. Why did Moses not think about it himself?

Moses had a reason why he wanted to judge on his own. He, who had received the Torah and communicated with G-d, was on a very high level. Moses wanted to share a little bit of his holiness with the people. At his level, there was no hate, jealousy, fights and politics. The rest of the Jews were people like us, and had such issues. But when they came to Moses to present their cases, Moses lifted them up to his level. Suddenly, whatever was important before, began to seem less critical. In the same way, when someone is happy, he is ready to forgive to the entire world… This was the reason Moses wanted to judge the people himself.

The problem was what would happen later. Yitro saw that we are regular people. We have the evil inclination inside of us and we struggle to dominate it. Our life and human relationships are not always so straightforward… What would happen when Moses would not be with us anymore? Would the “classroom” become again a place of trouble and chaos?

The solution was to create a system with regular judges. Judges who faced difficulties but were able to overcome them. Judges who could understand us and help us at our level. Judges who would have the role of Moses on a lower level, closer to us.

It is very important to have such a figure in our lives, someone who will inspire us and guide us. A rabbi for instance, who may not be perfect, who himself faces challenges in his life but overcomes them. Such a person can understand us and help us to achieve this as well.

I also have such a person in my life, who helps me and advises me on how to face various matters, where to start and how to become a better person.

We all need someone. Who will be the person that will advise you?

Shabbat Shalom,


Based on an article of Rabbi Haim Heber 

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