Family First

Moshe is leading the Jewish people through the desert, when one day Moshe’s wife, two children and father-in-law, Yitro, arrive. There is great rejoicing at the meeting, but by the next morning, Moshe is already back judging the people from morning to evening. Yitro realizes that something is wrong – taking responsibility for everything will lead Moshe to collapse. Moshe must delegate responsibility, and when he does that, the judicial system in Israel is formed.

Yitro teaches Moshe the boundaries of giving. It is no accident that he is who makes this point as the price for not having boundaries is too often paid for the family and in this case, the daughter and grandsons of Yitro. The Midrash that claims that Moshe’s descendants became idolaters reflects the reality that those who try to save the world too often neglect that which is closest to them.