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Devar Torah - Yisro

Thursday, 5 February, 2015 - 8:00 pm

Dvar Torah Parshas Yisro
By Rabbi Shimon Raichik

This week’s parsha discusses how a Father-in-Law gives advice to his Son-in-Law. Yisro travelled into the desert to visit with his Son-in -Law Moshe Rabbenu. He saw him judging the entire Jewish people by himself, from morning until night. Yisro let him know “You have a big shul of 600,000 adult men. You need help!” Hashem agreed with Yisro and Moshe appointed a system of judges over groups of ten, hundreds and thousands. Why did Moshe think that he could do it all on his own?

The Rebbe explained that Yisro added a parsha to the Torah. Moshe Rabbenu had a unique approach and Yisro added a new dimension and thereby merited a parsha in the Torah. We find a similar thing by Kabbolos haTorah.  Klal Yisroel approached Moshe saying that it was impossible to hear the Torah directly from Hashem. They requested that Moshe receive it, and they in turn hear from him. When Moshe Rabbenu heard this he became upset. He told them that their request had weakened him. He wanted Klal Yisroel to achieve a level that would allow them to receive the Torah directly from Hashem. At the end of this episode Hashem did not agree with Moshe Rabbenu but instead with Klal Yisroel! What was Moshe Rabbenu thinking? How is it possible that he didn’t know that it was too much for Klal Yisroel to bear? A leader is certainly in touch with his flock.

Rebbe explains when Klal Yisroel was with Moshe Rabbenu; Moshe Rabbenu lifted them to his level. This enabled them to receive the Torah on Moshe's level, directly from Hashem. The Yidden said that while this was true, this elevated state was not who they really were, and they wanted to receive the Torah on their level according to their mind, being, and circumstances. Hashem agreed with Klal Yisroel that the Torah would have deeper impact if it was internalized on their level according to their circumstances.  That’s what Moshe Rabbenu conveyed when he told the Yidden that they weakened him. Now, because of their choice, instead of lifting them to his level he now needed bring himself into their situation, on their level in order to be an intermediary between them and Hashem.

After Yom Kippur Moshe Rabbenu taught Klal Yisroel the Torah. Moshe Rabbenu felt that he was the only one who could teach it with its full impact because he had received it directly from Hashem. As the Torah says, the Shechina spoke through him. Yisro saw Klal Yisroel in their homes. He saw the dichotomy between their normal lives and the level that they achieved while together with Moshe Rabbenu. From Yisro’s perspective Moshe Rabbenu should not be the one to adjudicate their disputes, except for rare exceptions. His reasoning was that their situation needed to be addressed strictly according on their actual level, not a state they achieved only while in the presence of Moshe Rabbenu. Therefore he recommended that he create a judicial system.

In truth at the moment that they stood in the presence of Moshe Rabbenu all the extraneous external or peripheral aspects of their issue melted away, revealing only the essential core issue at hand. Because of this Moshe Rabbenu was able to penetrate the core of their situation with absolute truth and adjudicate their arguments to rectify their issues in a permanent and everlasting manner. Even a child realized when he stood in front of Moshe Rabbenu that it was different. Therefore Moshe Rabbenu was right on a level beyond that which Yisro saw or perceived.

The reason that Hashem nevertheless agreed with Yisro is because Moshe Rabbenu wasn’t going to be bringing Klal Yisroel into Eretz Yisroel, something that Moshe Rabbenu had not yet been told by Hashem. Therefore, if they were only going to learn directly from Moshe Rabbenu, later on they would be lost without him when new challenges would arise. The reason is because they would have only absorbed the Torah from Moshe Rabbenu, something that they would be unable to achieve without him present. Since Moshe Rabbenu thought he was entering the land, he would be there and therefore there would not be a need for anything additional. Therefore Hashem agreed with Yisro in order to insure that the Torah would continue. Nevertheless Moshe Rabbenu had to be the one to appoint the judges, they needed his smicha. This was so that the later generations would have achieved their abilities to judge through Moshe. Moshe endowed Klal Yisroel through his smicha, and that assured that even today there is a koach of Moshe Rabbenu to judge and lead according to way that Hashem gave the Torah to Moshe.

The Rebbe required that all Chassidim have a Rav and a Mashpia. The Rebbe gives the koach through them that Chassidim should live in the way the Rebbe leads.

(Adapted from Likutei Sichos v. 16)

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