How could Jethro be so honored?

April 13th, 2017 Posted by Ask the Rabbi 8 comments

Hello, as always I would like to start by saying thank you for sharing your knowledge. And thank you for the time you give in answering our questions.

 I have so many questions when reading the Bible and there are so many of them that I have often said to myself or anyone around me, “I will ask the Rabbi “. But here is just one:

In Exodus 18 we read that Moses’s father in law Jethro came and gave Moses a good advice and Moses followed it. My question is, since Jethro was not an Israelite, was this advice part of God’s will/plan? Having the 70 rulers helping Moses, was it God’s plan?

Halle

Answer: 

Dear Halle,

Not only was Jethro’s advice accepted, but the entire section of the Torah that includes the giving of the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai is known by his name (Exodus 18:1–20:23). He is honored and respected in Jewish tradition.

Moslem countries and secular-left activists constantly call for a boycott of Israeli products (such as the BDS movement) or disparage Jews worldwide. It is worth noting that while they virulently insult Jews and Israel,  they do not follow through by actually purging their countries and lives of medical, technological and other inventions that were created by Jews or developed in Israel. Somehow, they still use the polio vaccine, drip irrigation, Estee Lauder cosmetics and  Waze. They even play Rummikub and Mastermind. Speaking and advocating hatred is easier than living by their principles which reject Jews and Christians as unworthy of respect.

Judaism teaches differently. It is not an evangelical religion, but seeks a world where everyone recognizes God, though not necessarily through a Jewish path. We are delighted that there is wisdom among the nations, to quote a phrase from ancient Jewish wisdom, and as such, Jethro’s advice was appreciated and accepted. In fact, we point to this section of the Torah as a source for rejecting the idea that wisdom and good are confined to the Jewish people.

Judaism is very comfortable and, indeed, elevates specialization. For example, the priestly descendants of Aharon (Aaron) have a unique and important role, but their numbers are limited. If everyone was a priest other parts of the nation would not function. Similarly, there are those called to be part of the Jewish nation, yet there are important roles for those who are not so called.

We’re so pleased that you enjoy our various teachings,

Rabbi Daniel and Susan Lapin

 

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8 comments

Rhenechia Jones says:

It seems reasonable that Moses accepted Jethro’s advice because of their relationship, the one developed the 40 years he spent in Midian. I am thinking Moses learned a lot under Jethro and he had great respect for him and his wisdom. Jethro seems to have contributed to Moses becoming mature, exercising self-control rather than the quick-tempered young man who left Egypt. Exodus 4 records Moses going back to Jethro asking to be released to return to Egypt to check on his brothers. I believe God used this time to prepare Moses for his role as Israel’s deliverer.

Susan Lapin says:

You are right, Rhenechia, that there was trust based on a relationship. Which is a lesson to us all, both in evaluating advice from others as well as investing in the relationships of those we wish to trust us.

Johnnie Bristow says:

Thank you for the wonderful insights Rabbi Lapin. It is very reassuring to hear your teachings for the non-Jew, to know with certainty that we have an important role from God.

Carl from South Carolina says:

WOW, thx GR8 answer……continue to cause me to open more and LISTEN…..not just YOU , my wifey too….
Carl from South Carolina

As always, Rabbi and Susan (the model Proverbs wife!), what you say is expressed so gracefully and is a breath of fresh air in today’s contentious climate. If memory serves, Jethro provided the first recorded instance of explaining the wisdom of a leader’s delegating, especially when the group of his followers grew past a certain size. What you say carries this far wider and deeper. Wishing you a joyous Passover (and a happy Easter to the extend that these coincide this year).

Susan Lapin says:

That’s quite a high bar you raise, Deb. Yes, Jethro figured out the concept of delegation without the benefit of an MBA. Wishing you a happy Easter.

Brian Tucker says:

Realizing that much of what we Christians celebrate is pagan in origin. I wonder, do you believe as Micheal Rood does that upon escaping Egypt that the Jews landed in Media as opposed to Sianai. Wouldn’t Moses fled to a place he was familiar with?

Appriciate all of your teachings and wishing you and yours a blessed Passover. Love,

Brian & Joyce Tucker

H- says:

Dear Brian and Joyce,

As a new fan of the Lapin’s with a Bible based belief in Yeshua Who is The Messiah, I would like to answer as well. I see a new trend where christians say ”this part of the Bible is false, and that part, and that one”. I want to warn you that if a teacher is out there causing doubt, that is not a positive influence. The Allmighty states: 2 Peter 1:20;
” Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation”.
I have seen alot of people copy this unwittingly without realizing that they are a negative influence causing doubt in new believers. What will someone who isn’t grounded in The Word think if they read what you just wrote? Please be aware of the effect of planting doubt.

Kind regards,

H-

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