Sedra Yisro, 120 Words – Moshe the Dreamer

Yisro asks Moshe, “Why are you lording it over the people, making them stand whilst you sit?” [Rashi 18:14]

Moshe Rabbenu responds [18:16] but appears to not answer the question, he describes what Yisro, who “saw ALL that Moshe was doing for the people” [18:14] already knows. What is it that Yisro has not seen?

Further, how does Yisro’s suggestion, appointing 78,600 “judges” [not pen pushing bureaucrats] in total, 13% of the population [Rashi 18:21] solve the problem of Moshe disrespecting the people?

Besides, appointing 78,600 might have relieved the pressure on Moshe Rabbenu but would likely make life for the ordinary citizen unbearable.

Moshe Rabbenu is not just rendering decisions – “VeHoDati” – he dreams of informing, teaching and inspiring, “Chukei Elokim and Torosav” – Gd’s values and virtues [18:16]. Moshe sees through the veneer, understanding that people in conflict are in fact searching for Gd [18:15] He dreams of imbuing them with a spirit to know themselves and avoid the petty conflicts that divide family, friends and neighbours.

Yisro, understands this but realises that the people do not [want to] understand, share nor accept Moshe’s dream; nor that Moshe is their king before whom they ought to remain standing and from whom they must learn their own Gdliness.

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