Project Genesis

Naming a Torah Portion After Yitro

Question: Why is such an important Torah Portion, where the 10 commandments are presented to the people at the Sinai, named after a polytheistic priest Yitro (Jethro)?

Answer: Thanks for asking this great question. Yitro was not just a priest. He was Moshe’s father-in-law who converted to Judaism after recognizing the greatness of G-d, the greatness of his son-in-law, and the truth of the Torah. Yitro was a very powerful man and a man who always stood for truth and wanted to follow the right way even when he was not familiar with what the right way was. Yitro was righteous and was one of Moshe’s right hand men, sort of speak, and was a powerful influence in the Jewish people. After all, he had the merit of his lineage continuing through Moshe. Therefore, it is very proper that a Torah Portion that is filled with law and instruction be associated with a man who changed his life and his belief once exposed to the truth. We should all be so lucky as to know how to change our lives for the better and follow the truth of Torah.

Be Well,
Rabbi Litt

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