Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Yisro

What's News

Though the marquee event of this week's portion surrounds the epic event of Matan Torah, the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai, there are still many lessons to be learned from every pasuk of the parsha, even the seemingly innocuous ones. Rabbi Mordechai Rogov , of blessed memory, points out a fascinating insight from the following verses that discuss the naming of Moshe's children.

"Yisro, the father-in-law of Moses, took Zipporah, the wife of Moses, after she had been sent away, and her two sons - of whom the name of one was Gershom, for he had said, 'I was a sojourner in a strange land.' And the name of the other was Eliezer, for 'the God of my father came to my aid, and He saved me from the sword of Pharaoh.'" (Exodus 18:2-4).

After Moshe killed the Egyptian taskmaster who had hit the Hebrew slave, Pharaoh put a price on Moshe's head. The Medrash tells us that Moshe's head was actually on the chopping block but he was miraculously saved. He immediately fled from Egypt to Midian. In Midian, he met his wife Zipporah and there had two sons.

The question posed is simple and straightforward: Moshe was first saved from Pharaoh and only then did he flee to Midian and become a "sojourner in a strange land." Why did he name his first child after the events in exile his second son in honor of the miraculous salvation from Pharaoh's sword?

Rav Rogov points out a certain human nature about how events, even the most notable ones, are viewed and appreciated through the prospect of time.

Chris Matthews in his classic book Hardball, An Inside Look at How Politics is Played by one who knows the Game, tells how Senator Alben W. Barkley of Kentucky, who would later serve as Harry Truman's vice president, related a story that is reflective of human nature and memory. In 1938, Barkley had been challenged for reelection to the Senate by Governor A. B. 'Happy" Chandler, who later made his name as Commissioner of Baseball.

During that campaign, Barkley liked to tell the story of a certain rural constituent on whom he had called in the weeks before the election, only to discover that he was thinking of voting for Governor Chandler. Barkley reminded the man of the many things he had done for him as a prosecuting attorney, as a county judge, and as a congressman and as a senator.

"I recalled how I had helped get an access road built to his farm, how I had visited him in a military hospital in France when he was wounded in World War I, how I had assisted him in securing his veteran's benefits, how I had arranged his loan from the Farm Credit Administration, and how l had got him a disaster loan when the flood destroyed his home."

"How can you think of voting for Happy?" Barkley cried. "Surely you remember all these things I have done for you!"

"Sure," the fellow said, "I remember. But what in the world have you done for me lately?"

Though this story in no way reflects upon the great personage of Moshe, the lessons we can garner from it as well as they apply to all of us.

Rabbi Rogov explains that though the Moshe's fleeing Pharaoh was notably miraculous it was still an event of the past. Now he was in Midian. The pressure of exile from his parents, his immediate family, his brother Ahron and sister Miriam, and his people, was a constant test of faith. Therefore, the name of Moshe's first son commemorated his current crisis as opposed to his prior, albeit more miraculous and traumatic one.

Sometimes appreciating the minor issues of life take precedence over even the most eventful - if that is what is currently sitting on the table.

Good Shabbos

Dedicated in memory of Rose Horn (Rachel bas Shraga Faivel) Felig by Dr. & Mrs. Philip Felig - 17 Shevat

Dedicated by Michael & Rikki Charnowitz in memory of Ephraim (Epraim Yitzchak ben R'Avraham) Spinner --17 Shevat


Copyright © 2002 by Rabbi M. Kamenetzky and Project Genesis, Inc.

If you enjoy the weekly Drasha, now you can receive the best of Drasha in book form! Purchase Parsha Parables at a very special price!

The author is the Associate Dean of the Yeshiva of South Shore.

Drasha is the e-mail edition of FaxHomily, a weekly torah facsimile on the weekly portion which is sponsored by The Henry and Myrtle Hirsch Foundation


 






ARTICLES ON REEH:

View Complete List

Prophet-ism
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5757

See, It's A Matter Of Choice
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5763

Every Soldier Has His Own Job
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5761

> The Love Test
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5766

Today’s Choice
Shlomo Katz - 5774

Enjoy the Ride
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5772

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Now What?
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5765

The King's Children
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5764

Walk Behind Me
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5768

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Free-Will
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5770

The Abundance Of Acts
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5764

We Are His Children
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5760

ArtScroll

Even Closer to HASHEM
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

Making A Seen
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5760

A Jew Is Never Alone
Rabbi Yosef Kalatzky - 5762

Tomorrow - Today
Rabbi Label Lam - 5770



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information