This week’s Torah portion is titled “Yitro—Jethro.” The reason this portion is titled “Jethro” is because right after the Israelites left Egypt by crossing the Red Sea, we read, “Now Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses’ father-in-law, heard of all that God had done for Moses and for Israel His people—that the Lord had brought Israel out of Egypt. [So] Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, came…to Moses in the wilderness, where he was encamped at the mountain of God.”
Jethro had come to meet Moses at the Mountain of God. Why? Because he had “heard of all that God had done.” At the same time, during Moses and the Children of Israel’s triumphant song at the seashore, in Exodus 15, they included these lines, “The people will hear and be afraid...the inhabitants of Philistia…the chiefs of Edom...the mighty men of Moab…[and] all the inhabitants of Canaan will melt away. Fear and dread will fall on them.” You see, when God does wonders for his people, it brings fear to some and awe to others. Jethro came to see the spectacular wonders, which God had performed for His people. The surrounding nations were described as being full of fear and dread of God’s people.
A free nation of Israel means God’s Kingdom is on its way to being established. Some wanted to join; others wanted to keep their own way of life. Some saw Israel as a blessing; others saw Israel as a threat. The question today is “which are you?” Jethro’s statement upon hearing all that God had done for His people should be our response when we see God working miracles, through His people Israel, in our time: “Baruch Hashem— Blessed be the L-RD!” God has performed miracles for His people in the past and today, once again; He is unfolding His redemptive plan before our very eyes, which will bring restoration to the entire universe! May it come soon!