Parashat Yitro Exodus 18 – 20 The Oral Way And The Torah

Parashat Yitro

Exodus 18 – 20

א וַיִּשְׁמַ֞ע יִתְר֨וֹ כֹהֵ֤ן מִדְיָן֙ חֹתֵ֣ן מֹשֶׁ֔ה אֵת֩ כָּל־אֲשֶׁ֨ר עָשָׂ֤ה אֱלֹהִים֙ לְמֹשֶׁ֔ה וּלְיִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל עַמּ֑וֹ כִּֽי־הוֹצִ֧יא יְהוָ֛ה אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מִמִּצְרָֽיִם׃
ב וַיִּקַּ֗ח יִתְרוֹ֙ חֹתֵ֣ן מֹשֶׁ֔ה אֶת־צִפֹּרָ֖ה אֵ֣שֶׁת מֹשֶׁ֑ה אַחַ֖ר שִׁלּוּחֶֽיהָ׃
Judaism has a long way that leads us to the short way to understanding the Torah. Everyone else takes our Torah using scripture only and makes it something it is not.          The wrong way.
 Said Rabbi Yehoshua ben Chananiah: “Once a child got the better of me.”
“I was traveling, and I met with a child at a crossroads. I asked him, ‘which way to the city?’ and he answered: ‘This way is short and long, and this way is long and short.’
“I took the ‘short and long’ way. I soon reached the city but found my approach obstructed by gardens and orchards. So I retraced my steps and said to the child: ‘My son, did you not tell me that this is the short way?’ Answered the child: ‘Did I not tell you that it is also long?'”
(Talmud, Eruvin 53b)
With life being so short why do we always take the long way?
Proverbs 15: 24 The path of life goeth upward for the wise,
that he may depart from the nether-world beneath. (JPS) King
Shlomo writes in Mishlei (15:24), “A path of life above for the intelligent one, so that his soul will turn away from the grave below.” Rabbeinu Bachya ben Asher z”l (Spain; early 14th century) writes: King Shlomo a”h informs us here than an intelligent person who recognizes the transitory nature of this world is the one who knows that the real “path of life” is above. Therefore, he distances himself from the pleasures of this world and does not make them permanent fixtures in his life. To what may this be compared? To a person who plans to live in a certain city for a short time; he will not invest in property or a lot of furniture. Similarly, an intelligent person does not invest in his body more than is necessary for his health and to enable him to serve G-d, for he knows that his true home is above. Moreover, R’ Bachya adds, the soul actually longs to return home. This is why King Shlomo writes (Kohelet 7:1) that the day of death is greater than the day of birth.
Ten saying from King Shlomo
Proverbs 15
1A soft answer turneth away wrath;
But a grievous word stirreth up anger.
2The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright;
But the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.
3The eyes of the LORD are in every place,
Keeping watch upon the evil and the good.
4A soothing tongue is a tree of life;
But perverseness therein is a wound to the spirit.
5A fool despiseth his father’s correction;
But he that regardeth reproof is prudent.
6In the house of the righteous is much treasure;
But in the revenues of the wicked is trouble.
7The lips of the wise disperse knowledge;
But the heart of the foolish is not stedfast.
8The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD;
But the prayer of the upright is His delight.
9The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD;
But He loveth him that followeth after righteousness.
10There is grievous correction for him that forsaketh the way;
And he that hateth reproof shall die.


Why does it take us so long to learn to temper our words?

Every day I hear stories of peoples lives and I too am involved every day with my wife in conversations, and our conversations never end the way I wish they would end.

Imagine, you do not have time to tell your wife what she wants to hear, “every juicy detail of what happened” but you do not feel like telling her every detail because it will take to long,  so you tell her “nothing happened” or you try to find some other subject to talk about. Well, I will tell you from experience that telling her “every juicy detail” is the short way home and the long way home is the short way.

Judaism has a long way that leads us to the short way to understanding the Torah. Everyone else takes our Torah using scripture only and makes it something it is not.         The wrong way.
In this weeks Torah portion we cover the Seat Of Moses and we are introduced to the oral Torah and written Torah. And as always the oral Torah comes to explain the written Torah.
Shemot 18 (13) And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people; and the people stood about Moses from the morning unto the evening(15) And Moses said unto his father-in-law: ‘Because the people come unto me to inquire of God; (16) when they have a matter, it cometh unto me; and I judge between a man and his neighbour, and I make them know the statutes of God, and His laws.’ 
What is Moses using to judge the people?  (Oral Torah)
The Torah had not yet been given to Israel. So what judgments can Moses make? What statutes and laws are Moses using?  (Oral Torah)

more to follow: 

Golden Calf – Torah Myths by Rabbi Dr. Dovid Gottlieb

Do you really think we were worshiping a golden calf? Boy, are you in for a surprise. Rabbi Dr. Dovid Gottleib explains what is really going on in this story.