Parasha Yitro

Have any of you ever had that wow or "ah ha" moment in your life?  These are moments when something happens and it all just "clicks," or a time when you simply aren't expecting anything and suddenly something amazing or miraculous appears.

This week in our Torah portion, Parashat Yitro, there are two such moments, one for Moses personally and one for the Israelites as a whole.  Most of us are familiar with the Revelation as our people, the Israelites, stand at the base of Mount Sinai and hear the majestic thunder and lightning from God as they receive the Ten Commandments.  Moses' own "ah ha" moment is almost an afterthought in our parsha.

In chapter 18, we see Moses overwhelmed and exhausted, trying to do everything for everyone and having forgotten to take care of himself.  It is at this precise moment that his father-in-law, Yitro, appears on the scene.  Yitro tells Moses that he must take a step back and delegate.  Yitro's thrust is with the judicial system, but the intention of Yitro's comments are meant for every aspect in Moses' life.  If we overextend ourselves, it will have an adverse effect on our personal and professional lives.

As many of you know, I had the privilege of attending the Shababa Network Summit at the 92nd Street Y in New York last weekend.   I am extremely thankful to work at an institution like Agudas, which values professional development for its staff, allowing each of us to both recharge our batteries and imbibe the amazing new and innovative ideas out there in the Jewish world today.

While at the Summit, I was exposed to some incredible Shabbat family programming ideas that I was both excited to observe and to learn about; I plan to implement the ideas into our programming at Agudas.  There were also sessions from which I gained meaningful concepts to employ in future sermons.

It is imperative that all of us find time in our own lives, no matter what we do professionally or personally, to take time for ourselves, to learn more about what new ideas are circulating in our respective fields and to simply "recharge our batteries."  Yitro teaches us that we can't do everything on our own; we need to rely on those around us in our lives and the abundant resources available to us to truly reach our full potentials.

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Jeffrey Abraham