This week’s Torah portion covers Exodus 18:1 to 20:23. Pharaoh has let the Israelites go. They are encamped opposite Mount Sinai, eating manna and quail. They are entering their seventh week of freedom. God is about to call them into covenant and appoint them as a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. They are poised and ready to receive the pinnacle of divine revelation. But before Sinai happens and before the story launches into a detailed explanation of Israel’s foundational laws, Exodus takes a pause to expose a hiccup in Moses leadership style and offer the recipe for its correction. Jethro, or Yitro in Hebrew, is Moses’s father in law, the father of Tzipporah. This week’s Torah portion is named in honor of the priest of Midian. But Jethro’s legacy lives on in modern day Israel. Find out more about Israel’s Druze community.
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