Hi everyone, we chose to finish this week with a bit of wisdom from this week’s parsha, Zipporah. We hope you like it!
Is Yitro (Jethro), the father of Zipporah, the quintessential volunteer? A careful reading, with a focus on Yitro’s actions and words, might give us our answer:
“And Yitro heard…everything that God did to Moses and to Israel..”- We see from here that he listens to what is happening, he takes an interest in world events.
“Yitro…came…to the desert..”
Rashi tells us that Yitro chose to leave the comfort and safety of his own environment and travelled to the desert in order to get involved.
“Moshe went out to meet his father in law…”
Yitro did not march straight in to the Israelite camp, rather, he waited outside until he was greeted and invited in. Even though he is a well known and influential person in his own environment, he does not expect to be recognized as such or treated accordingly in the environment which he comes to visit. He assumes nothing but tries to learn as much as he can about where he is.
When he sees a problem, he respectfully asks questions before giving advice. He sticks around long enough to see that his contribution has been effective.
When he eventually goes home, he does so with the intention of teaching his family and community what he has learnt about the Israelites and encouraging them to become part of the story. Yitro is the first “Jew by choice’, and what defines his character is a sense of responsibility for others, and a humble desire to contribute.
So, is he the quintessential volunteer? What do you think?
Shabbat Shalom from Shalom Corps