(Exodus 18:1-20:23)

(Haftara: Isaiah 6:1-7:6, 9:5,6)

  1. [18:18] “You will certainly wear yourself out…” Moshe was the only judge for a few million people. He must have known that the job was too big for one person.  What was he thinking that would have caused him to continue being the only judge for all the people?
  1. [18:9] “And Yitro rejoiced for all the good that God had done for Israel…” Yitro identified with the people of Israel, and was joyful for them. Why did he return to Midian instead of staying with Israel?
  1. [19:5] “…you will be my own treasure from among all the nations…” On the one hand, we are told that we are God’s special nation. On the other hand we are commanded to be humble and not feel superior to people.  How can we resolve this contradiction?
  1. [20:12] “Honour your father and your mother…” We are commanded to “love your neighbour as yourself”. Doesn’t that include honouring? Are there limits on honouring someone other than one’s parents? Why is there a special commandment to honour one’s parents?
  1. [Haftara: Yeshayahu 6:9] “…you hear but you don’t understand. You see, but you don’t really know.” If they already see and hear, but don’t really understand,  what can a prophet do for them? Don’t they need a leader to re-educate them, rather than a prophet to again tell them that they are doing wrong? What can a prophet do for them?

Commentary

Faith is pure when it is full of inner feelings without self-deception and without ulterior motives…Someone who is intelligent will not be content without rational thinking.  For him, a genuine faith will not be real unless it is illuminated by reason.

–R. Avraham Y. H. Kuk, 1865-1935, Lithuania and Israel.

This study page is dedicated to the memory of Gad Eliahu ben David and Kochava—Eli Zucker

And 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