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Parashat Yitro – The Growth of a Nation


The most significant event in human history, receiving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, forms the structure of the values of modern society. 

Perhaps the most noteworthy feature of the entire episode is often overlooked and that is the transformation the nation needed to undergo before this momentous event.

There are two components that formed the groundwork of their preparation: character refinement and national unity.

Their famous declaration of “Naasei Venishma”, we will do and then we will understand, is a concise expression of the limits of human understanding while asserting their optimism of future comprehension. This comes from humility, as our sages have said, “Who is wise? The one who is open to learn from every person“.

The second foundation for receiving the Torah was national unity as described by their encampment at Mount Sinai in the singular tense, “as one person with one mind”.

The Jewish Nation is likened to a Torah scroll where each individual, big or small, scholar or unscholarly, is each one letter, interdependent and equally important. 

The three loves: love of G-d, loving of one’s fellow man and love of Torah are intertwined. One cannot differentiate between them and that was the eternal bond formed at Mount Sinai.

~ Rabbi Shaul