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?
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