Friday 5 February 2021

Shabbos Tzetl: Yitro & Mevarchim Adar

7:07pm - early candle lighting
8.11pm - Candle Lighting, Friday
9.11pm - Havdalah, Saturday
These times are for Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Eruv Status: KOSHER
Shabbat Shalom! 

This Shabbat is Shabbat Mevarchim ("the Shabbat that blesses" the new month): a special prayer is recited blessing the Rosh Chodesh ("Head of the Month") of the upcoming month of Adar, which falls on Friday and Shabbat of the following week.

Prior to the blessing, we announce the precise time of the molad, the "birth" of the new moon. See molad times.


Please click here to view the PDFs of the Weekly Publications previously distributed in Shule each Shabbos.

Exodus 18:1–20:23

Moses' father-in-law, Jethro, hears of the great miracles which G‑d performed for the people of Israel, and comes from Midian to the Israelite camp, bringing with him Moses' wife and two sons. Jethro advises Moses to appoint a hierarchy of magistrates and judges to assist him in the task of governing and administering justice to the people.

The children of Israel camp opposite Mount Sinai, where they are told that G‑d has chosen them to be His "kingdom of priests" and "holy nation." The people respond by proclaiming, "All that G‑d has spoken, we shall do."

On the sixth day of the third month (Sivan), seven weeks after the Exodus, the entire nation of Israel assembles at the foot of Mount Sinai for the Giving of the Torah . G‑d descends on the mountain amidst thunder, lightning, billows of smoke and the blast of the shofar, and summons Moses to ascend.

G‑d proclaims the Ten Commandments, commanding the people of Israel to believe in G‑d, not to worship idols or take G‑d's name in vain, to keep the Shabbat, honor their parents, not to murder, not to commit adultery, not to steal, and not to bear false witness or covet another's property. The people cry out to Moses that the revelation is too intense for them to bear, begging him to receive the Torah from G‑d and convey it to them.

Isaiah 6:1–13.

This week's haftorah discusses Isaiah's vision of the Heavenly Chariot (the merkavah), a revelation that was experienced by all the Israelites when G‑d spoke the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai—an event recounted in this week's Torah reading.

Isaiah perceives G‑d sitting on a throne surrounded by angels. Isaiah vividly describes the angels and their behavior (in anthropomorphic terms). During the course of this vision, Isaiah volunteers to be G‑d's emissary to transmit His message to the Israelites. He is immediately given a depressing prophecy regarding the exile the nation will suffer as punishment for their many sins—and the Land of Israel will be left empty and desolate, though there will be left a "trunk" of the Jewish people that eventually will regrow.


Jethro took Tzipporah, Moses' wife, after he had sent her back (18:2)

When G‑d said to Moses in Midian, "Go, return to Egypt" (Exodus 4:19), "Moses took his wife and sons" (ibid., v. 20). When Aaron later met with him "at the mountain of G‑d" (v. 27), he said to him: "Who are these?" Said Moses: "This is my wife, whom I married in Midian, and these are my children." "Where are you taking them?" asked Aaron. "To Egypt," said Moses. Said Aaron to Moses: "We are grieving over the ones already in Egypt, and you propose to add to their number!" So Moses said to Tzipporah, "Return to your father's house," and she took her two sons and went away.

(Mechilta; Rashi)

Now I know that G‑d is greater than all gods (18:11)

This tells us that he had full knowledge of every idol in the world, for he had worshipped them all.

(Mechilta; Rashi)

The Torah could not be given to Israel until Jethro, the great and supreme priest of the all pagan world, and confessed his faith in the Holy One, saying, "Now I know that G‑d is greater than all the gods."




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