Sedra of the week: Yitro
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here
Analysis

Sedra of the week: Yitro

  Rebbetzin Siobhan Dansky, a participant in the Chief Rabbi’s Ma’ayan programme, looks ahead to this week's portion of the Torah

In this week’s parsha, we meet Moshe’s father-in-law, Yitro. He sees how hard Moshe is working and suggests he employ deputies to share the workload.

“They shall judge the people at all times, and it shall be that they shall bring every major matter to you, and everything minor they shall judge…” (Shemot 18:22).

Moshe follows Yitro’s advice, with one slight change: “…the difficult things they would bring to Moshe and the minor things they would judge…” (Shemot 18:26).

In matters of leadership, it is easy to confuse recognition with importance. Sometimes the two coincide, but it can be that the most crucial jobs are the small, behind-the-scenes issues that may never be publicly acknowledged.

No one decorates and celebrates the foundations of a house and yet, without them, there would be no house to adorn or even in which to live. Yitro’s advice was that Moshe should take on the high-profile tasks that would put his name in lights.

But Moshe is known as the humblest of all men; he knew his responsibility and job was to deal with the difficult issues, even if they would not earn him public recognition.

Rabbi Sacks points out that Yitro uses the phrase lo tov (not good) in describing how Moshe was shouldering the burden of leadership alone. The only other time the phrase lo tov is used is in Bereshit 2:18: “It is not good for man to be alone”.

In leadership and in life, companionship is crucial. Moshe had a direct line to God, making him believe
he was uniquely qualified to judge the people.

However, Yitro taught him it’s not perfection but rather collaboration that results in great leadership.

  •   Rebbetzin Siobhan Dansky is a participant in the Chief Rabbi’s Ma’ayan programme

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more:
comments