subscribe.gif (2332 bytes)

Biography of Yehuda Katz | Archives | This Week's Parsha


"Yisro, the minister of Midian, the father-in-law of Moses, heard everything that G-d did to Moses and to Israel ,His people---- that Hashem had taken Israel out of Egypt." (18:1) Moses told his father-in-law everything that Hashem had done to Pharaoh and Eygpt for Israel's sake.......(18:8)

A question can be asked as follows: If Yisro had already heard all the great miracles G-d had performed for Israel, then why did Moses have to repeat all the happenings again to Yisro? I would like to propose, Bezrat Hashem, an original answer. Yisro's source of information was perhapes from hearsay or rumors. This was an inferior manner to fully grasp the greatness of G-d's taking Israel out of Eygpt. Yet, Moses was not only an eyewitness to the events, he was an active participant. Moses wanted to enhance Yisro's perception from the hearsay level to one of the more personal eyewitness level. The perception of the eyewitness is greatly superior in all ways than the mere intellectual perception. We find this concept in Genesis 1:4 when G-d first perceived the light He had created and only then declared it to be good. The Netziv (Of blessed memory) comments in Haamek Davar that although G-d's observing of the ligfht after its creation was obviously unnecessary for His evaluation (good) , He nevertheless first observed and only then evaluated it.G-d, thereby, wanted to teach man that he will be more deeply impressed and affected by what he sees with his own eyes than what he can perhapes ascertain through mere intellectual perception.

(Please refer there for further details.) Moses did not want Yisro to just have a bystanders view of the miraculous events, he wanted his father-in-law to "feel" the events from an eyewitnesse's viewpoint, up close and personal.Moses therefore reiterated the events again.We find this concept, especially as it pertains to "Yezious Mitzrayim" (The exodus) from the Hagaddah, as follows: "In every generation a person is obligated to see himself as if he personally left Egypt..................." (Please refer to the Haggadah For further details.) We find that a person must "see" himself as personally and actively leaving Egypt as an eyewitness,not from a second hand view point. We can learn a very important lesson from our Torah discoarse. We must try to live the Torah personally, not second hand especially when it comes to the Exodus from Eygpt. We must see ourselves leaving Egypt. This is precisely what Moses wanted to instill in Yisro. Have a happy Shabbos


This article is provided as part of Shema Yisrael
Torah Network
Permission is granted to redistribute electronically or
on paper,
provided that this notice is included intact.
For information on subscriptions, archives, and
other Shema Yisrael
send mail to

Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Jerusalem, Israel

Feedback is Appreciated at