Parshat YitroExodus 18 1 to 20 23First PortionExodus Chapter 18Now Moses' father in law, Jethro, the chieftain of Midian, heard all that God had done for Moses and for Israel, His people that the Lord had taken Israel out of Egypt.So Moses' father in law, Jethro, took Zipporah, Moses' wife, after she had been sent away,and her two sons, one of whom was named Gershom, because he Moses said, I was a stranger in a foreign land,and one who was named Eliezer, because Moses said, The God of my father came to my aid and rescued me from Pharaoh's sword.Now Moses' father in law, Jethro, and his Moses' sons and his wife came to Moses, to the desert where he was encamped, to the mountain of God.And he said to Moses, I, Jethro, your father in law, am coming to you, and so is your wife and her two sons with her. So Moses went out toward Jethro, prostrated himself and kissed him, and they greeted one another, and they entered the tent.Moses told his father in law about all that the Lord had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians on account of Israel, and about all the hardships that had befallen them on the way, and that the Lord had saved them.Jethro was happy about all the good that the Lord had done for Israel, that He had rescued them from the hands of the Egyptians.Thereupon, Jethro said, Blessed is the Lord, Who has rescued you from the hands of the Egyptians and from the hand of Pharaoh, Who has rescued the people from beneath the hand of the Egyptians.Now I know that the Lord is greater than all the deities, for with the thing that they plotted, He came upon them.Then Moses' father in law, Jethro, sacrificed burnt offerings and peace offerings to God, and Aaron and all the elders of Israel came to dine with Moses' father in law before God.Second PortionIt came about on the next day that Moses sat down to judge the people, and the people stood before Moses from the morning until the evening.When Moses' father in law saw what he was doing to the people, he said, What is this thing that you are doing to the people? Why do you sit by yourself, while all the people stand before you from morning till evening?Moses said to his father in law, For the people come to me to seek God.If any of them has a case, he comes to me, and I judge between a man and his neighbor, and I make known the statutes of God and His teachings.Moses' father in law said to him, The thing you are doing is not good.You will surely wear yourself out both you and these people who are with you for the matter is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone.Now listen to me. I will advise you, and may the Lord be with you. You represent the people before God, and you shall bring the matters to God.And you shall admonish them concerning the statutes and the teachings, and you shall make known to them the way they shall go and the deeds they shall do.But you shall choose out of the entire nation men of substance, God fearers, men of truth, who hate monetary gain, and you shall appoint over them Israel leaders over thousands, leaders over hundreds, leaders over fifties, and leaders over tens.And they shall judge the people at all times, and it shall be that any major matter they shall bring to you, and they themselves shall judge every minor matter, thereby making it easier for you, and they shall bear the burden with you.If you do this thing, and the Lord commands you, you will be able to survive, and also, all this people will come upon their place in peace.Third PortionMoses obeyed his father in law, and he did all that he said.Moses chose men of substance out of all Israel and appointed them as heads of the people, leaders of thousands, leaders of hundreds, leaders of fifties, and leaders of tens.And they would judge the people at all times; the difficult case they would bring to Moses, but any minor case they themselves would judge.Moses saw his father in law off, and he went away to his land.Fourth PortionExodus Chapter 19In the third month of the children of Israel's departure from Egypt, on this day they arrived in the desert of Sinai.They journeyed from Rephidim, and they arrived in the desert of Sinai, and they encamped in the desert, and Israel encamped there opposite the mountain.Moses ascended to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, So shall you say to the house of Jacob and tell the sons of Israel,You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings, and I brought you to Me.And now, if you obey Me and keep My covenant, you shall be to Me a treasure out of all peoples, for Mine is the entire earth.And you shall be to Me a kingdom of princes and a holy nation.' These are the words that you shall speak to the children of Israel.Fifth PortionMoses came and summoned the elders of Israel and placed before them all these words that the Lord had commanded him.And all the people replied in unison and said, All that the Lord has spoken we shall do! and Moses took the words of the people back to the Lord.And the Lord said to Moses, Behold, I am coming to you in the thickness of the cloud, in order that the people hear when I speak to you, and they will also believe in you forever. And Moses relayed the words of the people to the Lord.And the Lord said to Moses, Go to the people and prepare them today and tomorrow, and they shall wash their garments.And they shall be prepared for the third day, for on the third day, the Lord will descend before the eyes of all the people upon Mount Sinai.And you shall set boundaries for the people around, saying, Beware of ascending the mountain or touching its edge; whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death.'No hand shall touch it, for he shall be stoned or cast down; whether man or beast, he shall not live. When the ram's horn sounds a long, drawn out blast, they may ascend the mountain.So Moses descended from the mountain to the people, and he prepared the people, and they washed their garments.He said to the people, Be ready for three days; do not go near a woman.It came to pass on the third day when it was morning, that there were thunder claps and lightning flashes, and a thick cloud was upon the mountain, and a very powerful blast of a shofar, and the entire nation that was in the camp shuddered.Moses brought the people out toward God from the camp, and they stood at the bottom of the mountain.And the entire Mount Sinai smoked because the Lord had descended upon it in fire, and its smoke ascended like the smoke of the kiln, and the entire mountain quaked violently.The sound of the shofar grew increasingly stronger; Moses would speak and God would answer him with a voice.Sixth PortionThe Lord descended upon Mount Sinai, to the peak of the mountain, and the Lord summoned Moses to the peak of the mountain, and Moses ascended.The Lord said to Moses, Go down, warn the people lest they break their formation to go nearer to the Lord, and many of them will fall.And also, the priests who go near to the Lord shall prepare themselves, lest the Lord wreak destruction upon them.And Moses said to the Lord, The people cannot ascend to Mount Sinai, for You warned us saying, Set boundaries for the mountain and sanctify it.' But the Lord said to him, Go, descend, and then you shall ascend, and Aaron with you, but the priests and the populace shall not break their formation to ascend to the Lord, lest He wreak destruction upon them.So Moses went down to the people and said this to them.Exodus Chapter 20God spoke all these words, to respond:I am the Lord, your God, Who took you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.You shall not have the gods of others in My presence.You shall not make for yourself a graven image or any likeness which is in the heavens above, which is on the earth below, or which is in the water beneath the earth.You shall neither prostrate yourself before them nor worship them, for I, the Lord, your God, am a zealous God, Who visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the sons, upon the third and the fourth generation of those who hate Me,and I perform loving kindness to thousands of generations, to those who love Me and to those who keep My commandments.You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain, for the Lord will not hold blameless anyone who takes His name in vain.Remember the Sabbath day to sanctify it.Six days may you work and perform all your labor,but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord, your God; you shall perform no labor, neither you, your son, your daughter, your manservant, your maidservant, your beast, nor your stranger who is in your cities.For in six days the Lord made the heaven and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and He rested on the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and sanctified it.Honor your father and your mother, in order that your days be lengthened on the land that the Lord, your God, is giving you.You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, his manservant, his maidservant, his ox, his donkey, or whatever belongs to your neighbor.Seventh PortionAnd all the people saw the voices and the torches, the sound of the shofar, and the smoking mountain, and the people saw and trembled; so they stood from afar.They said to Moses, You speak with us, and we will hear, but let God not speak with us lest we die.But Moses said to the people, Fear not, for God has come in order to exalt you, and in order that His awe shall be upon your faces, so that you shall not sin.The people remained far off, but Moses drew near to the opaque darkness, where God was.The Lord said to Moses, So shall you say to the children of Israel, You have seen that from the heavens I have spoken with you.You shall not make images of anything that is with Me. Gods of silver or gods of gold you shall not make for yourselves.An altar of earth you shall make for Me, and you shall slaughter beside it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your cattle. Wherever I allow My name to be mentioned, I will come to you and bless you.And when you make for Me an altar of stones, you shall not build them of hewn stones, lest you wield your sword upon it and desecrate it.And you shall not ascend with steps upon My altar, so that your nakedness shall not be exposed upon it.'