Search This Blog

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Parshat Yitro
Happy Tu B'shvat!
Tu B'shvat fun!
·        Yitro, Moshe's father-in-law, comes to join Bnei Yisrael after learning of the miracles Hashem performed for them.

·   Yitro sees that Moshe works day and night judging Bnei Yisrael and listening to their problems and he suggests that Moshe appoint judges to take care of most of the cases. Moshe asks Hashem if he can take Yitro’s advice and Hashem agrees.
·   Bnei Yisrael are about to receive the Torah. They get to Har Sinai on the third of Sivan and spend three days purifying themselves and doing teshuva while preparing to receive the Torah. No one is allowed to go near the mountain, except Moshe.

·   Hashem calls Moshe up the mountain to tell him to tell Bnei Yisrael to prepare themselves in order to receive the Torah. On the sixth day of Sivan, Hashem gives Bnei Yisrael the Ten Commandments 

Here is a great way for my father and I to learn a little bit of Parsha each week, even though we live far from each other.  
( I like the play on words of Abba in the word Shabbat and Imabba meaning "with Abba" and Ima Abba written together!  Thanks Abba and Ima :-)!
"וישמע יתרו כהן מדין חתן משה את כל אשר עשה אלקים למשה ולישראל עמו כי הוציא ה' את ישראל ממצרים:" (שמות יח, א)
The Parsha starts off by telling us that Yitro heard. Rashi tells us: “What did he hear that he came? Yitro heard of the splitting of the Red Sea and the war against Amalek.”
Yitro heard, but so did everyone else.  What was the big deal??
When kids for example, sit in class, some hear what the teacher is saying but do not fully grasp it.  Others might be hearing but are not paying attention. Yitro was able to hear and also understand what was being said.
Another example is the story we heard in last week's Parsha about Kriyat Yam suf (the splitting of the sea). There, it tells us that the nations heard and trembled with fear.  Yet shortly after, they went back to their old ways.  They did not change.  It was as if they heard it, but kind of forgot about it and went back to what they were doing before.  They were not willing to change and it was as if they did not understand and forgot about what happened.
We can learn a very important lesson from Yitro.  He heard and came.He grasped the concept and was able to change and make the change.  It is not enough to just sit on the side and hear; he listened, grasped, changed and made a difference!

A famous story that we know,
Is in this week’s Parshat Yisro.
Hashem went to every nation to ask,
Will you consent to an important task?
Will you accept the Torah out of love,
He asked Amon and asked Moav.
“What does it say” they all did fear,
Would they accept what they would hear?
“You cannot kill and cannot steal,”
They could not believe that was for real.
“We do not accept, we have free will,
We choose to steal and choose to kill.”
Hashem went to the Bnei Yisrael,
And asked if they would like the Torah as well.
“Naaseh Venishma” was their reply,
And they all gathered round on Har Sinai.
On the third day there was noise of thunder and light,
The Bnei Yisrael caught such a fright.
The Aseret hadibrot were presented to them,
The Bnei Yisrael heard part from Hashem.
Which did they hear, what about the rest?
If you know the answer, you past this test.

This week’s Parsha is a very exciting one.  The Bnei Yisrael received the Torah at Har Sinai.  Listen carefully in shul as the baal koreh reads the aseret hadibrot. 
Every one of the aseret hadibrot is important. The fifth commandment is honoring your mother and father.  Here is a nice project that you can make before Shabbat and surprise your parents at the Shabbat table. Make coupon booklets for your parents to redeem.  Use your imagination.  Your parents will love these suggestions.
 Here are some examples: 
·         This coupon allows you (your parents) for a free dinner.  You will be able to make your parents a nice dinner.
·         This coupon is good for washing the floors in the house.
·      This coupon is good for free babysitting while you nap.
You can come up with many creative ideas and talk about the mitzvah of kibbud av vaem.
  • Write each of the Aseret Hadibrot (Ten Commandments) on separate pieces of paper.  Have a contest and see who can arrange them in the correct order first.
  •  Choose an activity during the week which will demonstrate the mitzvah of ben adam lachavero (between man and his friend).  You could visit a sick person, make cards for sick kids in the hospital, help someone etc…
  •    Call a close friend or relative before Shabbat to wish them a Shabbat Shalom.   
Thought of the week:
Matan Torah at Har Sinai was a very special time for the Jewish people and was a pivotal point in Jewish history. The Midrash Tanhuma teaches us that when the Jewish people stood at Har Sinai and accepted the Torah, Hashem elevated our status and we became the nation of Hashem. Because of its importance, Chazal learn many important lessons from Matan Torah. For example, when the Torah tells us that the Jews camped at Har Sinai, it uses the wordויחן  which is singular rather than plural. Rashi explains that the singular was used to teach us that the Jews came united to accept the Torah united, as one people with one heart.
Achdut of the Jewish people is not to be underestimated. As our Father, there is nothing more pleasing to Hashem than to see his children love and care for each other. Alternatively, there is nothing more upsetting to Hashem than to see his children not get along with each other. It is no wonder then that the Beit Hamikdash which is the symbol of our special connection to Hashem was destroyed because of שנאת חינם. It stands to reason that with אהבת חינם, we will help hasten the rebuilding of the Beit Hamikdash. 

What a great Har Sinai Cake!  Use your imagination.  Everyone will want a piece of your cake.  They will gladly say “Naaseh Venishma”.

Har Sinai:
What you will need:
1.     Round deep Pyrex bowl
2.     One cake recipe
3.     Chocolate mold of the luchot
4.     Baking chocolate to melt
5.     Icing for cake
6.     Colorful sprinkles to put around the mountain
·        Bake the cake in the pyrex bowl.
·        When it is cool, invert it onto a plate.
·        Frost the cake with white frosting.
·        Put the chocolate luchot on top.
·        Sprinkle with colorful sprinkles.
Luchot Habrit:

What you will need:
1.     A cake mold of Luchot Habrit or a rectangular cake that you will cut into the shape of the luchot
2.     Frosting
3.     Chocolate mold of the aleph bet
4.     Baking chocolate to melt
·        Bake the cake in the mold.
·        When cool, take it out and place it on a big rectangular tray.
·        Frost it (mix different colors to make it look gray).
·        Melt the baking chocolate.
·        Pour the melted chocolate into the Aleph until Yud slots. Freeze.
·        Remove the chocolate and place it on the appropriate spots in the cake.
           Enjoy!  Have a great Shabbat!

Answer to educated guess: (When Hashem began to speak the commandments; it was too powerful and overwhelming for the Bnei Yisrael to hear. So they begged Moshe to receive the Torah from Hashem and then tell it to them. )

1 comment: