I Know Why He Came

We listened to Yitro
Yitro listened to us.

Moses stuttered
Yitro [Jethro] spoke another language entirely
Yitro began by listening
he had heard all that happened
— God and Israel and Egypt
Jethro listened to the whole story
and it moved him.

He brought Tzipporah
the wife of Moses and their two sons
to Israel’s camp.

When did he come? [Talmud, Zevachim 116a]
Did he come after he heard about the attack of Amalek?
did he come when he heard about the splitting of the Sea?
did he come when he heard about the Ten Commandments?

Did he come because of the opposition
did he come because of miracles
did he come because of wisdom —

he knew why he came.

Thus is the giving of the Torah in this parashah
yet the portion is entitled Jethro,

as if we could not receive the holy Torah
until Yitro had joined us. [Zohar]