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Home » Education, Yitro

Yitro- Each to his own Level

Submitted by on February 10, 2006 – 7:46 pmNo Comment | 2,922 views

Deputizing the Students

In this week’s Parsha we read that Moses descended from Mt Sinai and began to teach G-d’s Torah to the Masses. As Moses sat from morning to evening long queues of query laden students  formed up and snaked around his tent for miles. Each sought an answer, each to his own level.

His father in law, Jethro, noticed that Moses’ exhaustion and suggested that he deputize his students and authorize them to answer the simpler questions. “Appoint rulers of ten, rulers of a hundred, rulers of a thousand and rulers of ten thousand,” suggested Jethro. “Allow them to handle the routine questions and only bring the difficult ones to your attention.” G-d endorsed the idea and Moses complied.

Delegation is not an original idea. Surely Moses, a smart man, could conceive of it himself? Perhaps the idea did occur to him earlier but he did not deem it proper till Jethro suggested it and G-d endorsed it. Why?

Imparting Greatness

Moses had a clear vision and deep understanding of the spiritual path in Torah and wanted to teach it in person. He didn’t want to delegate this task to a deputy for fear that in doing so some of the depth and spiritual clarity might be lost. He wanted Jews to connect with Torah as he did, to view it from his lofty perspective. Moses was a great man and in his zeal preferred to believe that all Jews were capable of his greatness.

Unfortunately, what he was prepared to teach, the masses were unable to receive for they lacked his depth and spiritual clarity.

Acknowledging Reality

Jethro argued that he must allow the masses to learn from someone who could relate to their level of understanding and spiritual stamina. Furthermore, argued Jethro, by conceding this point he would send a message to the people that spiritual connection is not beyond the average Jew. Though we must, in practice, unanimously adhere to every detail of Jewish law there is no monopoly on spiritual connection. We are each capable of reaching G-d on our respective levels.

Should Moses have risked compromising his dream for the chance to reach the ordinary Jew? Yes, said Jethro and yes agreed G-d.

What do you think?

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