Shemot / Ex. 18:1-20:26
Haftarah: Sephardic Tradition: Yeshayahu / Is. 6:1-7:6
Ashkenazi Tradition: Yeshayahu / Is. 9:6-7 (5-6 Heb.)
Brit Chadasha: Mattityahu / Mt. 19:16-26
This is how our parsha begins:
וַיִּשְׁמַע יִתְרֹו כֹהֵן מִדְיָן חֹתֵן מֹשֶׁה אֵת כָּל־אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה אֱלֹהִים לְמֹשֶׁה וּלְיִשְׂרָאֵל עַמֹּו כִּֽי־הֹוצִיא יְהוָה אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל מִמִּצְרָֽיִם
Vayishma Yitro khohen Midyan khoten Moshe et kol-asher asah Elohim le-Moshe ule-Yisra’el amo ki-hotsi Adonay et-Yisra’el miMitzrayim.
“And Yitro, priest of Midyan, Moshe’s father-in-law, heard all that Elohim had done for Moshe and for Israel his people, and how Adonai had brought Israel out of Egypt.
1 Aliyah / Reader 18:1-12
Moses’ father-in-law, Yitro, hears of all that HaShem has done.
He comes with Moses’ wife and children to the camp, by the mountain of HaShem.
Moses goes out to receive his father-in-law by reverencing and greeting him.
He invites him to his tent and tells him everything HaShem has done for Israel.
Yitro rejoices and blesses HaShem by recognizing Him as greater than the gods.
He offers sacrifices to HaShem and invites Aharon and all the elders to eat before HaShem.
2 Aliyah / Reader 18:13-23
The next day Moses sits down to judge the people all day.
Yitro sees that it is too much work for him alone and advises him to remain the mediator between the people and HaShem but at the same time delegate to capable and HaShem-fearing men the task of being judges over the people and judging in all minor matters.
Serious matters will have to be referred to Moses.
3 Aliyah / Reader 18:24-27
Moses listens to his father-in-law and puts chiefs over the people who will judge in every simple lawsuit, some over a thousand, others over a hundred, fifty, and ten.
Yitro returns to his land.
4 Aliyah / Reader 19:1-6
On the third month, the people arrive to the Sinai desert and camp in front of the mountain.
Moses goes up to HaShem and HaShem calls him from the mountain and commands him to say to the house of Ya’akov and the Children of Israel:
“You have seen what I have done to the Egyptians, and how I have taken you on the wings of eagles and brought you to Me. Now then, if you truly listen to My voice and keep My covenant, you will be My special treasure among all peoples, for mine is the whole earth; and you will be for Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”
5 Aliyah / Reader 19:7-19
Moses exposes before the elders what HaShem has said.
All the people answer that they will do all that HaShem has said.
Moses shares the words of the people with HaShem.
HaShem says that He will come to speak with Moses in a dense cloud so that the people will hear and believe forever.
Moses communicates the words of HaShem to the people.
Moses has to make the people consecrate themselves for two days by washing their clothing and thus be prepared for the third day.
Then HaShem will descend into the sight of all on the mountain.
Moses has to put boundaries around the mountain and tell the people to guard themselves from climbing the mountain or touching the boundary.
Any animal or man who touches the limit will be executed.
When the shofar’s sound is long, they will be able to go up.
Moses comes down from the mountain and sanctifies the people.
They wash their clothing and prepare for the third day.
They can’t draw near their wives.
In the morning on the third day, there is thunder and lightning and a dense cloud over the mountain along with a loud sound of the shofar.
All the people tremble.
Moses takes the people out of the camp to meet HaShem at the foot of the mountain.
The whole mountain is in smoke and shakes with violence because HaShem has come down in fire.
The sound of the shofar increases more and more.
Moses speaks and HaShem responds audibly.
6 Aliyah / Reader 19:20 – 20:17 (v. 14 Heb.)
HaShem descends to Mount Sinai and calls Moses to the peak, and he goes up.
HaShem orders him to descend and warn the people not to cross the boundaries to see HaShem, lest many of them die.
Priests will have to sanctify themselves so that they do not die.
Moses says that the people cannot go up because of the limits.
But HaShem tells him to go down again and come up with Aharon and warn the people.
HaShem speaks ten words from The Mountain: Shemot / Ex. 20:1-17
“I am HaShem… Don’t have any other gods… Don’t take the name HaShem in vain… Remember the Shabbat… Honor your father and mother… Don’t murder… Don’t commit adultery… Don’t steal… Don’t testify falsely… Don’t covet…”
7 Aliyah / Reader 20:18-26 (15-23 Heb.)
All the people see the voices and the torches, the sound of the shofar and the smoking mountain.
Then they tremble and keep their distance.
They ask Moses that only he speak to them, not HaShem, lest they die.
Moses tells them not to fear.
HaShem has come to lift them up and so that their fear may remain in them so that they will not sin.
The people keep their distance and Moses approaches the dense cloud where HaShem is.
The people have seen what HaShem has spoken from heaven.
That’s why they can’t make a god out of silver or gold.
They will have to make Him an altar of earth to sacrifice offerings of ascension and peace.
HaShem will visit every place where He makes mention of His name and there, He will bless the people.
It is not allowed to make an altar of stones with stones carved with a chisel.
You cannot go up to the altar on steps so that your nakedness is uncovered.
Ketuvah / Covenant / Marriage Agreement
Shemot / Ex. 19:1-8
How would you prepare a Hebrew wedding?
In Hebrew culture, the father of the groom would be the one who prepared the wedding.
The father of the groom would make a covenant/pact with the father of the bride.
They would split some animals in half and walk through the middle of the sacrificed animals declaring the covenant for both parties.
What would they say to themselves?
The groom’s father would first pass through the slaughtered animals and say to the bride’s father:
“If my son does not fulfill his role as a faithful father and husband with your daughter,
May I suffer what happened to these animals. “
Then the father of the bride would pass through the middle of the sacrificed animals and say:
“If my daughter does not fulfill her role as a faithful mother and wife with your son,
May I suffer what happened to these animals. “
Do you remember what happened to Avraham when he asked the Eternal One for descendants?
B’reshit / Gen. 15:1-21 / (the entire chapter)
HaShem knew that Avraham was a man, and he was not going to be able to fulfill the covenant between the two parties.
It is for this reason that a fiery torch, representing both parties, consumed the offered sacrifice.
Then the father of the groom took on the task of preparing the wedding.
He chose a friend, not the bridegroom, to go visit the bride and give her some gifts.
What were these gifts for?
These gifts or talents were for the bride to prepare for the wedding.
What would happen if the bride would not make good use of those gifts, which were given for a single purpose, the Wedding?
She does not marry.
Do you remember the Parable of the Lost Coin in Luke 15:8-9
8 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Don’t you light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until you find it?
9 And when she finds her, she gathers her friends and neighbors, and says to them: “Rejoice with me; I already found the coin that I had lost ”.
You receive these gifts so that you can prepare for the wedding.
HaShem chose Moshe as the friend to bring the Ketuvah to the bride to sign.
1 The Israelites arrived in the desert of Sinai within three months of leaving Egypt.
2 After leaving Rephidim, they went into the desert of Sinai, and there in the desert, they camped, in front of the mountain,
3 to which Moses went up to meet Elohim. And from there HaShem called him and said: «Announce this to the people of Yaakov; Declare this to the people of Israel:
4 “You are witnesses of what I did to Egypt, and that I have brought you to me as on the wings of an eagle.
5 If you are now completely obedient to me and keep my covenant, you will be my exclusive property among all nations. Although all the land belongs to me,
6 you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation ”. Communicate all this to the Israelites.
7 Moses returned and summoned the elders of the people to explain to them all these words that the Eternal One had ordered him to communicate to them,
8 and all the people responded with one voice: “We will do all that the Eternal One has ordered us to do.” So, Moses brought the people’s response to the Eternal One. “
The bride signed the Ketuvah.
Now the Father tells His son, the Bridegroom, to prepare the abode where he will live with the wife.
Yohanan / John 14:2-3
2 In my Father’s house are many mansions; if not, I would have told you; So, I am going to prepare a place for you.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to Myself, so that where I am, you may also be.
But haven’t you asked yourself, when will the wedding be?
Who knows the date of the wedding?
Whoever is preparing the wedding knows when it is.
In Israel, when someone hears another say that they do not know the day or time, they know they are talking about a wedding.
Also, it refers to the only feast of HaShem that falls on Rosh Chodesh or Head of the month, the month of Tishrei or the seventh month in the Hebrew lunar calendar.
It is known in the Scriptures as Yom Teruah or Day of blowing the Shofar.
Also known in Jewish culture as Rosh Hashana or Head of the Year or beginning of the year.
32 “No one knows the day or the hour when I will come; not even the angels in heaven know. What is more, I don’t even know. My Father is the only one who knows.
33 “Therefore, be careful and be alert, because you do not know when I will return.
The Father will tell His friend to get the trumpet and announce the arrival of the bridegroom to lift the bride up and take her to the abode that the groom prepared.
Matityahu / Matthew 25:6
6 And at midnight a cry was heard: Here comes the bridegroom; come out to meet him!
1 Thess. 4:16-17
16 For HaShem himself with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of Elohim, will descend from heaven; and the dead in Mashiach will rise first.
17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet HaShem in the air, and thus we will always be with HaShem.
Who is the Father of the Groom? HaShem
Who is the Bridegroom? Yeshua
Who is the Bride? Israel
Who is the Friend? Ruach Ha Kodesh / Spirit of Holiness.
Now, what does the Torah say we should do before that day?
Let’s go to chapter 19 the verses of 10 and 11:
10 And the Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes
What does it mean to wash your clothes?
Examine ourselves and see if there is sin in us.
We have to go into the waters and bury the old man of sin and come out of the waters as new creatures to serve HaShem with a sincere and humble heart.
The verse 11 of chap. 19 that we are studying says:
11 and be ready by the third day, because on that day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.”
2 Kefa / Peter 3:8
8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.
We are reaching the third day, as NASA would say, there are 10 minutes left to finish the sixth day and enter the seventh day, Shabbat.
May HaShem find us doing good and not evil.
Shabbat Shalom Mishpocha!