This week’s parasha, Yitro, always sneaks up on me. We’ve now had a few weeks where we’re following the Israelites through their exodus from Egypt. We have witnessed momentous occasions such as Moses being called to lead, the ten plagues, and the crossing of the sea, complete with its own beautifully poetic song.
This week, however, we have a major turning point for the Israelites and for Moses as well. While the receiving of the Ten Commandments is a big event, there is another equally important happening in the parasha, which I believe prepared both Moses and the people to ultimately receive the law and make the transition to freedom and unity.
At the beginning of the parasha, Yitro, the father-in-law of Moses, has heard of all the miracles that took place in Egypt and comes to reunite Moses with his family. He witnesses that Moses alone hears the cases and troubles of the people and is worried that not only will Moses wear himself out, but also that the system is not ideal for the people who have to stand around waiting for their turn to be heard.
Thankfully, Yitro suggests a new system which allows Moses to delegate some of his responsibilities and also provides opportunities for others to get involved in leadership. The organization of the tribal leadership into leaders of thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens, also portrays an early example of representative government!
It is hard to believe that we are nearing the end of January and the start of a new semester. It is thanks to my amazingly supportive team here at Ezra that we are able to do the important and holy work that we do here each day. We also would not be where we are now without the incredible support of our community. This is a community that truly teaches its members how to lead and how to contribute. Our Executive Board, Board of Directors and the countless volunteers who sit on our various committees work tirelessly to provide counsel and support to not only me, but also to our parent body and wider community.
For such a small school, we have so many people here, both as lay leaders and professional staff who give so much to our school. And there’s always room for more! If you’re interested in getting more involved or learning more about what goes into the planning of our events and happenings, please let us know!
The lessons in leadership that we learn from our weekly Torah study combined with the wonderful examples of leadership here in our very own kehillah (congregation) are an inspiration to me and I am so grateful to have found a home here both professionally and spiritually.
I would like to bless us all with a new year of health and success and the ability to continue to learn and grow with and from each other.
Wishing you all, your families and loved ones a restful and peaceful Shabbat,