O holy Shabbes Inspiration Yitro
Maqam Hoseini

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
the people
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 off 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]

How we received Yitro is an us-and-them problem
he gave us something additional
something unexpected
his name was Yeter [additional]
he brought additional wisdom
something from outside.

Once we integrated his wisdom
he became Yitro
he earned a vuv
a direct connection with the Holy One
straight up and down
the Or Yashar
the straight light.

His wisdom was from the outside
what is additional is what he taught Moses
how to bring down the wisdom from the outside
in its applications
the implications and inferences
what we would draw for ourselves.

Outside becomes inside.

From the outsider Amalek we received only grief
from the outsider Yitro
wisdom beyond measure.

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