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Shabbat Yitro (Ex. 18:1-20:23)

Courtesy of Julie Seltzer and MyJewishLearning.com

The Torah continues it’s high drama and suspenseful storytelling this week, giving us the direct communication of the 10 commandments (literally “utterances”) from God to the whole House if Israel. The Children of Israel fall on their faces, overwhelmed and terrified even as they say “all that you speak, we will do”. They ask Moses never to let the big scary voice talk to them, to be their intermediary.

In that one element, we find two huge departures from previous Torah narratives. Up until now, God has spoken to individuals only, who then had to repeat it to others. And up until now, the Children of Israel had asked for God’s help based on the merit of their ancestors. In this moment God spoke to each person directly and individually, and on the basis of their merit and nobody else’s.

SO… limited only by your creativity and the category of food assigned, please bring a food which stands on it’s own merit.


Not sure what this Torah portion is about? You can find a brief summary in The Edible Torah’s “Condensed Guide to the Weekly Torah Readings”. For more information on what The Edible Torah is all about, along with insight on how to set up a pot-luck Shabbat experience, check out “The Edible Torah”.

One Response to “Shabbat Yitro (Ex. 18:1-20:23)”

  1. Shlomo says:

    Thanks for making those two points about this revelation.

    As for the God speaking to each person based on their own merit, there are sources that say that the Jewish people as a whole had regained the spiritual level of Adam HaRishon. That would also imply a high level of merit for the individuals.

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