Learning Group– Parshat Yitro
(Haftara: Isaiah 6:1-7:6, 9:5,6)
1. [20:2] “…who brought you out of the land of Egypt”. Why doesn’t God present himself as He “who created the world”?
2. [Midrash Rabba, Bamidbar 1:7] The midrash says that “anyone who does not make himself ownerless (hefker) like the wilderness cannot acquire wisdom and Torah”. What does that mean?
3. [20:15] “And the entire nation saw the thunder and lightning and the sound of the horn…” Rashi quotes a midrash that tells us that they saw that which is impossible to see. What does this fact add to the experience of Sinai?
4. [20:15] When God revealed himself at Sinai it was a very “loud” experience. When God revealed himself to Eliahu in the cave, it was a very “quiet” experience (Kings I, 19:11,12). Both seem to have been intense experiences. What is the difference between them, and which is the most effective?
5. [Yeshayahu 9:6] “…in justice and in righteousness—from now and forever…” “Justice” means being judged by the strict letter of the law. “Righteousness” can be understood as making a compromise between the two parties in a judgment.
Which is the more praiseworthy for a Torah judge—strict justice, or compromise between the parties?
Shmot [18:5]: “…to the wilderness where he (Moshe) was camping there– to the mountain of God…”
Because he was staying there, it became the mountain of God. Through Moshe, the place became elevated until the Holy Presence of God rested there. A person can be somewhere, and through his or her actions and attitudes, transform that location into a Godly place–a place where God is present.
–R. Shimshon Rafael Hirsch, 1808-1888, Niemcy.
This study page is dedicated to the memory of Sarah Bella bat Yitzchak Kummer, Chaim Yosef Yechiel ben Eliyahu Kummer and Eliyahu and Margaret Kummer
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