Friday 2 February 2024

Shabbos Tzetl: Yitro & Mevarchim Adar I

7:09pm - Early candle lighting
8:15pm - Candle Lighting, Friday
9:15pm - Havdalah, Saturday
(Melbourne Australia)
Eruv Status: KOSHER 
Good Shabbos! (snapshot attached)

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 I, which falls on Friday and Shabbat of next week.

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

It is a Chabad custom to recite the entire book of Psalms before morning prayers, and to conduct farbrengens (chassidic gatherings) in the course of the Shabbat.

Please click here to view the Yeshivah Shule Tzetel for Shabbos Mevorchim Adar Alef Parshas Yisro. Please click here to view the PDFs of Weekly Publications.  

Exodus 18:1–20:23
The name of the Parshah, "Yitro," means "Jethro" and it is found in Exodus 18:1.

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.


Do not murder. Do not commit adultery. Do not steal (20:13)

When Moses ascended to heaven, the angels protested to G‑d: "What is a human being doing amongst us?"

Said He to them: "He has come to receive the Torah."

Said they to Him: "This esoteric treasure, which was hidden with You for nine hundred and seventy-four generations before the world was created, You wish to give to flesh and blood? . . . 'What is man, that You are mindful of him, and the son of man, that You take notice of him? . . . Place Your glory upon the heavens!'" (Psalms 8:2–5)

Said G‑d to Moses: "Answer them."

Said Moses: "Master of the Universe! I fear lest they consume me with the breath of their mouths."

Said G‑d: "Hold on to the Throne of Glory, and return them an answer."

Said Moses: "Master of the Universe! This Torah that You are giving to me, what is written in it? 'I am the L‑rd your G‑d, who has taken you out from the land of Egypt.'

"Have you descended to Egypt?" asked Moses of the angels. "Were you enslaved to Pharaoh? So why should the Torah be yours?

"What else does it say? 'You shall have no other gods.' Do you dwell amongst idol-worshipping nations? What else does it say? 'Remember the Shabbat day.' Do you work? . . . What else does it say? 'Do not swear falsely.' Do you do business? What else does it say? 'Honor your father and your mother.' Do you have parents? What else does it say? 'Do not murder,' 'Do not commit adultery,' 'Do not steal.' Is there jealousy among you? Do you have an evil inclination?"

Immediately the angels conceded to G‑d . . . and each one was moved to befriend Moses and transmit something to him. Even the angel of death, too, confided his secret to him . . .

(Talmud, Shabbat 88b)

[For another version of this dialogue, click here]

Submission to Emmanuel's? See here