4:12 AM

Parshas Yisro

Posted by Scholar

  • Why is the giving of the Torah recorded in Parshas Yisro?
Regarding the Torah it is written: "The true good is only Torah." Pirkei Avot goes on to state, "I have given you a good teaching-the Torah." The word "Tov" which means good has the numerical value of 17. Counting from the first Parsha of the Torah (Bereishit) 17 parshas we get to Yisro. Therefore it is more appropriate to have the ultimate good be expounded in the 17th parsha.


  • "And G-d descended upon Mount Sinai" (Shemos 19:20)

In the Haggadah we say, "Had He brought us before Mount Sinai and not given us the Torah, it would have been enough (dayeinu)." Of what value would Mount Sinai be without the Torah?
The Torah contains 613 Mitzvot, the numerical value of Torah is 611. Unlike the rest of the Torah, which was given to us by Moshe Rabbeinu, the first 2 commandments were uttered by Hashem Himself. The meaning of the Haggadah is that had we come to Mount Sinai and heard only those 2 commandments from Hashem Himself, it would have sufficed for us.


  • "I am G-d your G-d, who brought you out of the land of Egypt" (Shemos 20:2)

Why didn't Hashem just introduce Himself as the Creator of Heaven and Earth? Why specifically as "He Who brought you out of the land of Egypt"? The answer is that the redemption from Egypt is something that every Jew had just experienced and therefore it has a personal and unique meaning to each and every one of us.
Also, the word for Egypt in the Torah is "mitzrayim" which Chassidus explains can also be read as "meitzarim", or "limitations and boundaries". Torah gives a person the power to elevate himself over all physical limitations. By taking us out of "Mitzrayim" (or "meitzarim"), and giving them the Torah, Hashem is telling us that we have the ability to leave behind our spiritual and physical limitations. Through the study and practice of Torah, a Jew can control heaven and earth, instead of his being subject to their control.

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