Drash Cards for Yitro (5763)
by Marc Mangel
• I want to start with Ch 18, v 1: “Va-Yishma Yitro…”
• What did Yitro hear? Rashi says he heard about the splitting of Yam Suf and the war with Amalek. The Talmud says that he heard about the giving of the Torah.
• R. Moshe Feinstein taught that different people are inspired by different things such as fighting evil, salvation of the oppressed, or revelation of the Divine.
• And among the righteous people there are distinct personalities and abilities such as main characteristics of Torah learning, combatting evil ideas, doing deeds of kindness. He says “All of these are high ideals and worthy of great praise”
• Thus we need to embrace inspirational diversity and remember that we don’t know what is in peoples’ hearts.
• But we can learn more from Yitro, since surely everyone in the region heard what happened in Egypt.
• R. Zelig Pliskin teaches that Yitro did not merely hear, he took action — he picked himself up and changed his life.
• He writes “The difference between a great person and an ordinary person is that a great person acts on his inspiration…When you obtain an important awareness — let it move you to actual changes in your life”
• That is, we need Inspiration+Action — one without the other is ineffective.
• What does this mean for us? One answer comes next week in Mishpatim and Hebrew Free Loans. We should all go home and done to the Hebrew Free Loan Association with the tag line “Santa Cruz Mishpatim Movement”.
• And then be like Yitro and ask somebody else to do the same: inspiration and action!