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Parashat Yitro


Surprisingly, the most monumental event in Jewish history, the receiving of G-d’s law, is named after Yitro, a gentile. There are many important ideas taught in this small detail. The most fundamental idea is that this revelation was for the benefit of humanity and not just for a small tribe of Hebrews.

A world that appeared to be a place that “just is”—without an author, without a story, without meaning, is through Torah, understood to have profound design and purpose, with humanity having the leading role and responsibility for its success.

Another message that is just as important is the power within us to influence the world around us.

Yitro abandoned his past life and joined the destiny of the Jewish family because he saw a moral cause greater than he had experienced as the religious leader to idolatry.

The Talmud recounts many stories of our sages, that through their mundane daily pursuits, infused their world with G-d’s Torah morality. It begins with the belief that the world and humanity are innately good and that the Creator purposely left room for us to improve upon His work, bringing it closer to the harmonious state for which it was created.