Parshat Yitro

Learning Group– Parshat Yitro

(Numbers 18:1-20:23)

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

1. [18:14-18:25] Yitro, Moshe’s father-in-law, suggested to Moshe that Moshe should totally reorganize the Israelites? Moshe does this with God’s approval. Shouldn’t God have told Moshe to do this? Why did such a very important change come from Yitro and not from God?

2. [19:17] “…and they stood under the mountain”. Rashi quotes a midrash which says that God held the mountain over the Israelites as a threat to force them to accept the Torah. This is understood to mean that the intensity of the experience forced them to accept the Torah, and this is understood to be a lower level than the free acceptance of the Torah. Why is total lack of doubt at Sinai considered a lower level?

3. [19:6] What do you think are the qualities of a “nation of priests; a holy nation”?

4. [20:1] The last Lubavitcher rebbe, R. Menachem M. Schneersohn said that each of the 10 commandments was a greater revelation of Godliness than the previous one. How can one understand this statement? Is “Don’t be jealous…” a greater revelation of Godliness than “Keep the Shabbat” or “I am the Lord, your God”?

5. [Haftara: Isaiah: 6:3] “Holy, holy, holy…the whole earth is full of His glory”. How does God’s glory fill the whole earth?


“I am always afraid to be more clever than I am religious. I would rather be religious than clever. But better than both religious or clever, I would like to be good.”

–R. Pinchas Shapira, 1726-1791, Koretz, Poland.

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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