Parshat Yitro: Change is a Constant

February 2, 2024
BBYO Weekly Parsha


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During the last few Parshot, the people of Israel had finally escaped slavery and were now heading towards the Promised Land: Eretz Canaan. However, before finally arriving at their final destination, some important things happen in the desert, one of them being probably the most known and significant events in the history of Judaism, and this week's Parsha talks about that.

Exactly, I’m talking about G-d delivering the Ten Commandments to our people. I’m pretty sure we’re all familiar with how things went, but just in case, I’m going to do a little recap. The people of Israel arrived at Mount Sinai, where Moshe spent 40 whole days connecting and hearing the words of G-d. After this one-on-one time, Moshe went down to his people. He saw that they hadn’t been patient, and instead of waiting for him and the message from G-d, they had built and begun to worship a golden calf. At that exact moment, Moshe couldn’t keep it together, and he threw down the tables and destroyed the golden calf. Moshe then told the people of Israel that they had made a pretty serious mistake and that now he needed to spend more time with G-d to ask for forgiveness and a new message for them. Sometime after, he came back with the new Ten Commandments, which were welcomed with great gratitude and hope.

Now that we’re all on the same page, I want to ask you something: Do you know why this Parsha is called Yitro? Yitro was Moshe’s father-in-law: Tzipora’s dad. He was well known at the time because of his broad knowledge of Paganism and rituals. He was one of the wisest people when it came to alternative practices, however, he had no issue with his daughter marrying a Jewish person. In fact, after their marriage, Yitro started to have some very interesting conversations with Moshe. These conversations were of such a nature that after some time, he started to doubt his previous knowledge and devotion, and instead, felt more attracted to Judaism. Yitro decided he wanted to change his practices and follow the Jewish laws and traditions

And that’s what this Parsha is all about, change. Change is what the people of Israel went through once they realized there was no point in worshiping other deities because G-d was out there waiting for them. Change is what was needed before arriving at the Promised Land, as the exiles from Egypt still had the mindset of a slave.

At the end of the day, change is the only constant.

Shabbat Shalom,

Uriel Vindver, BBYO Argentina's Regional Shaliach.

Read commentary on this week's Parsha from BBYO teens around the world.

All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.

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