Saturday, January 26, 2008

Conversations with Rabbi Jacob Weiner on the Parsha


As I was leaving shul on Friday night I was pulled aside by an elderly man by the name of Rabbi Jacob Weiner, who told me a few very interesting Divrei Torah….

At the beginning of this past weeks Parsha it begins with the words, Vayishma Yisro, “and Yisro heard”. Rashi commenting on this pasuk, answers what it was that Yisro had heard; the splitting of the Red Sea and the Jewish war with Amalek.

R’ Weiner however seemed rather perplexed. Why was it that Yisro needed these two event to convince him of the existence of G-d and the Jews being his chosen people? For Yisro, being a very impressionable person, one of these events should have been more than enough?

Rabbi Weiner quickly answered that the answer must have been deeply involved with who Yisro was as a person. Up until this point in his life, Yisro was an idolater. Being that he believed that the world was governed by multiple dominions, he felt that there must have been different heavenly forces that were controlling all events, a god for good and a god for evil.

After realizing that Bnei Yisrael miraculously merited having the sea split in their honor (a good thing) and then after this being maliciously attacked by the Amalakites (a bad thing). Yisro, a man who was on a journey for truth, finally realized that he had to join Klal Yisrael, who had Moshe at the helm, and Hashem in control.

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