Yitro (parsha)

Yitro (parsha)

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Yitro, Yithro, or Yisro is Moses' father-in-law, a Kenite shepherd and priest of Midian. He is also revered as a prophet in his own right in the Druze religion, and considered an ancestor of the Druze.-In Exodus:...

,” the second word and first distinctive word in the parshah) is the seventeenth weekly Torah portion (parshah) in the annual Jewish
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

 cycle of Torah reading
Torah reading
Torah reading is a Jewish religious ritual that involves the public reading of a set of passages from a Torah scroll. The term often refers to the entire ceremony of removing the Torah scroll from the ark, chanting the appropriate excerpt with special cantillation, and returning the scroll to...

 and the fifth in the book of Exodus. It constitutes Jews in the Diaspora
Jewish diaspora
The Jewish diaspora is the English term used to describe the Galut גלות , or 'exile', of the Jews from the region of the Kingdom of Judah and Roman Iudaea and later emigration from wider Eretz Israel....

 read it the seventeenth Sabbath
Shabbat
Shabbat is the seventh day of the Jewish week and a day of rest in Judaism. Shabbat is observed from a few minutes before sunset on Friday evening until a few minutes after when one would expect to be able to see three stars in the sky on Saturday night. The exact times, therefore, differ from...

 after Simchat Torah
Simchat Torah
Simchat Torah or Simḥath Torah is a celebration marking the conclusion of the annual cycle of public Torah readings, and the beginning of a new cycle...

, generally in late January or February.

Jews also read part of the parshah, as a Torah reading on the first day of the Jewish holiday
Jewish holiday
Jewish holidays are days observed by Jews as holy or secular commemorations of important events in Jewish history. In Hebrew, Jewish holidays and festivals, depending on their nature, may be called yom tov or chag or ta'anit...

 of Shavuot
Shavuot
The festival of is a Jewish holiday that occurs on the sixth day of the Hebrew month of Sivan ....

, which commemorates the giving of the Ten Commandments
Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments, also known as the Decalogue , are a set of biblical principles relating to ethics and worship, which play a fundamental role in Judaism and most forms of Christianity. They include instructions to worship only God and to keep the Sabbath, and prohibitions against idolatry,...

.

Summary



Jethro reforms adjudication


Moses
Moses
Moses was, according to the Hebrew Bible and Qur'an, a religious leader, lawgiver and prophet, to whom the authorship of the Torah is traditionally attributed...

’ father–in–law Jethro
Jethro
In the Old Testament or the Hebrew Bible, Jethro |Shu-ayb]]) is Moses' father-in-law, a Kenite shepherd and priest of Midian. He is also revered as a prophet in his own right in the Druze religion, and considered an ancestor of the Druze.-In Exodus:...

 heard all that God
Names of God in Judaism
In Judaism, the name of God is more than a distinguishing title; it represents the Jewish conception of the divine nature, and of the relationship of God to the Jewish people and to the world. To demonstrate the sacredness of the names of God, and as a means of showing respect and reverence for...

 had done for the Israelite
Israelite
According to the Bible the Israelites were a Hebrew-speaking people of the Ancient Near East who inhabited the Land of Canaan during the monarchic period .The word "Israelite" derives from the Biblical Hebrew ישראל...

s and brought Moses’ wife Zipporah
Zipporah
Zipporah or Tzipora is mentioned in the Book of Exodus as the wife of Moses, and the daughter of Reuel/Jethro, the priest or prince of Midian...

 and her two sons Gershom
Gershom
According to the Bible, Gershom was the firstborn son of Moses and Zipporah. The name appears to mean a sojourner there , which the text argues was a reference to Moses' flight from Egypt; biblical scholars regard the name as being essentially the same as Gershon, and it is Gershom rather than...

 (“I have been a stranger here”) and Eliezer
Eliezer
For the mathematician and Tamil activist see C.J. Eliezer; for the AI researcher and writer on rationality see Eliezer Yudkowsky; for the Levite priest of the Hebrew Bible, see Eleazar...

 (“God was my help") to Moses in the wilderness
Wilderness
Wilderness or wildland is a natural environment on Earth that has not been significantly modified by human activity. It may also be defined as: "The most intact, undisturbed wild natural areas left on our planet—those last truly wild places that humans do not control and have not developed with...

 at Mount Sinai
Mount Sinai
Mount Sinai , also known as Mount Horeb, Mount Musa, Gabal Musa , Jabal Musa meaning "Moses' Mountain", is a mountain near Saint Catherine in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt. A mountain called Mount Sinai is mentioned many times in the Book of Exodus in the Torah and the Bible as well as the Quran...

. Jethro rejoiced, blessed God, and offered sacrifices
Korban
The term offering as found in the Hebrew Bible in relation to the worship of Ancient Israel is mainly represented by the Hebrew noun korban whether for an animal or other offering...

 to God. The people stood from morning until evening waiting for Moses to adjudicate their disputes. Jethro counseled Moses to make known the law, and then choose capable, trustworthy, God–fearing men to serve as chiefs to judge the people, bringing only the most difficult matters to Moses. Moses heeded Jethro’s advice. Then Moses bade Jethro farewell, and Jethro went home.

The Ten Commandments


Three months to the day after the Israelites left Egypt
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

, they entered the wilderness at the foot of Mount Sinai. Moses went up Mount Sinai, and God told him to tell the Israelites that if they would obey God faithfully and keep God’s covenant, they would be God’s treasured possession, a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. When Moses told the elders, all the people answered: “All that the Lord has spoken we will do!” And Moses brought back the people’s words to God. God instructed Moses to have the people stay pure, wash their clothes, and prepare for the third day, when God would come down in the sight of the people, on Mount Sinai. God told Moses to set bounds round the mountain, threatening whoever touched the mountain with death, and Moses did so.
At dawn of the third day, there was thunder, lightning, a dense cloud upon the mountain, and a very loud blast of the horn. Moses led the people to the foot of the mountain. Mount Sinai was all in smoke, the mountain trembled violently, the blare of the horn grew louder and louder, and God answered Moses in thunder. God came down on the top of Mount Sinai, and called Moses up. God again commanded Moses to warn the people not to break through.

God spoke the Ten Commandments:
  • “I the Lord am your God.”
  • “You shall have no other gods besides Me. You shall not make for yourself a sculptured image, or any likeness of what is in the heavens above, or on the earth below, or in the waters under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them.” ( 20:3–6 in the NJPS.)
  • “You shall not swear falsely by the name of the Lord your God.” ( 20:7 in the NJPS.)
  • “Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.” ( 20:8–11 in the NJPS.)
  • “Honor your father and your mother.” ( 20:12 in the NJPS.)
  • “You shall not murder.”
  • “You shall not commit adultery.”
  • “You shall not steal.”
  • “You shall not bear false witness.” ( 20:13 in the NJPS.)
  • “You shall not covet . . . anything that is your neighbor’s.” ( 20:14 in the NJPS.)


(A note on verse numbering: The Mechon Mamre Hebrew–English Bible to which articles in this series link numbers its verses according to the Lower Trope
Cantillation
Cantillation is the ritual chanting of readings from the Hebrew Bible in synagogue services. The chants are written and notated in accordance with the special signs or marks printed in the Masoretic text of the Hebrew Bible to complement the letters and vowel points...

 Marks system, in which the verses are numbered naturally in their form for study. Many Jewish Bibles in both Hebrew and English (including the 1917 Jewish Publication Society
Jewish Publication Society of America
The Jewish Publication Society , originally known as the Jewish Publication Society of America, is the oldest nonprofit, nondenominational publisher of Jewish works in English...

  Holy Scriptures According to the Masoretic Text
Jewish Publication Society of America Version
The Jewish Publication Society of America Version of the Tanakh was the first Bible translation published by the Jewish Publication Society of America and the first translation of the Tanakh into English by a committee of Jews...

, the New Jewish Publication Society Tanakh
New Jewish Publication Society of America Version
The JPS TANAKH, published in 1985, is a modern Jewish translation of Hebrew Scripture into English.This translation emerged from the collaborative efforts of an interdenominational team of Jewish scholars and rabbis working together over a thirty-year period...

, and the ArtScroll
ArtScroll
ArtScroll is an imprint of translations, books and commentaries from an Orthodox Jewish perspective published by Mesorah Publications, Ltd., a publishing company based in Brooklyn, New York...

  Chumash) use the numbering of the Upper Trope Marks system as used for public readings. Parallel verse numbering thus appears for the Ten Commandments here in , as well as in Deuteronomy )

Seeing the thunder, lightning, and the mountain smoking, the people fell back and asked Moses to speak to them instead of God. ( 20:15–16 in the NJPS.) God told Moses to tell the people not make any gods of silver or gold, but an altar of earth for sacrifices. ( 20:17–21 in the NJPS.) God prohibited hewing the stones to make a stone altar. ( 20:22 in the NJPS.) And God prohibited ascending the altar by steps, so as not to exposed the priests’
Kohen
A Kohen is the Hebrew word for priest. Jewish Kohens are traditionally believed and halachically required to be of direct patrilineal descent from the Biblical Aaron....

 nakedness. ( 20:23 in the NJPS.|)

In classical rabbinic interpretation



Exodus chapter 18


The Tannaim
Tannaim
The Tannaim were the Rabbinic sages whose views are recorded in the Mishnah, from approximately 70-200 CE. The period of the Tannaim, also referred to as the Mishnaic period, lasted about 130 years...

 debated what news Jethro heard in that caused him to adopt the faith of Moses
Conversion to Judaism
Conversion to Judaism is a formal act undertaken by a non-Jewish person who wishes to be recognised as a full member of the Jewish community. A Jewish conversion is both a religious act and an expression of association with the Jewish people...

. Rabbi Joshua
Joshua ben Hananiah
Joshua ben Hananiah was a leading tanna of the first half-century following the destruction of the Temple. He was of Levitical descent , and served in the sanctuary as a member of the class of singers . His mother intended him for a life of study, and, as an older contemporary, Dosa b. Harkinas,...

 said that Jethro heard of the Israelites’ victory over the Amalek
Amalek
The Amalekites are a people mentioned a number of times in the Hebrew Bible. They are considered to be descended from an ancestor Amalek....

ites, as reports the results of that battle immediately before reports Jethro’s hearing of the news. Rabbi Eleazar of Modim said that Jethro heard of the giving of the Torah, for when God gave Israel the Torah, the sound travelled from one end of the earth to the other, and all the world’s kings trembled in their palaces and sang, as Psalm
Psalms
The Book of Psalms , commonly referred to simply as Psalms, is a book of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Bible...

  reports, “The voice of the Lord makes the hinds to tremble . . . and in His temple all say: ‘Glory.’” The kings then converged upon Balaam
Balaam
Balaam is a diviner in the Torah, his story occurring towards the end of the Book of Numbers. The etymology of his name is uncertain, and discussed below. Every ancient reference to Balaam considers him a non-Israelite, a prophet, and the son of Beor, though Beor is not so clearly identified...

 and asked him what the tumultuous noise was that they had heard — perhaps another flood, or perhaps a flood of fire. Balaam told them that God had a precious treasure in store, which God had hidden for 974 generations before the creation of the world, and God desired to give it to God’s children, as says, “The Lord will give strength to His people.” Immediately they all exclaimed the balance of “The Lord will bless His people with peace.” Rabbi Eleazar said that Jethro heard about the dividing of the Reed Sea, as Joshua
Book of Joshua
The Book of Joshua is the sixth book in the Hebrew Bible and of the Old Testament. Its 24 chapters tell of the entry of the Israelites into Canaan, their conquest and division of the land under the leadership of Joshua, and of serving God in the land....

  reports, “And it came to pass, when all the kings of the Amorites heard how the Lord had dried up the waters of the Jordan before the children of Israel,” and Rahab
Rahab
Rahab, was, according to the Book of Joshua, a woman who lived in Jericho in the Promised Land and assisted the Israelites in capturing the city...

 the harlot too told Joshua
Joshua
Joshua , is a minor figure in the Torah, being one of the spies for Israel and in few passages as Moses's assistant. He turns to be the central character in the Hebrew Bible's Book of Joshua...

’s spies in “For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea.” (Babylonian Talmud
Talmud
The Talmud is a central text of mainstream Judaism. It takes the form of a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, philosophy, customs and history....

 Zevachim 116a.)

Rabbi Joshua interpreted to teach that Jethro sent a messenger to Moses. Noting that mentions each of Jethro, Zipporah, and Moses’ children, Rabbi Eliezer
Eliezer ben Hurcanus
Eliezer ben Hurcanus or Eliezer ben Hyrcanus , a Kohen, was one of the most prominent tannaim of the 1st and 2nd centuries, disciple of R. Johanan ben Zakkai and colleague of Gamaliel II, whose sister he married , and of Joshua ben Hananiah...

 taught that Jethro sent Moses a letter asking Moses to come out to meet Jethro for Jethro’s sake; and should Moses be unwilling to do so for Jethro’s sake, then to do so for the Zipporah’s sake; and should Moses be reluctant to do so for her sake, then to do so the sake of Moses’ children. (Exodus Rabbah
Exodus Rabbah
Exodus Rabbah is the midrash to Exodus, containing in the printed editions 52 parashiyyot. It is not uniform in its composition.- Structure :In parashiyyot i.-xiv...

 17:2.)

Rabbi Pappias read the words “And Jethro said: ‘Blessed be the Lord’” in as a reproach to the Israelites, for not one of the 600,000 Israelites rose to bless God until Jethro did. (Mekhilta
Mekhilta
This article refers to the Mekhilta de-Rabbi Ishmael. There is a separate article on the Mekhilta de-Rabbi ShimonMekhilta or Mekilta is a halakic midrash to the Book of Exodus...

 Amelek 3:40:3:1.)

Exodus chapter 19


The Mekhilta deduced from the use of the singular form of the verb “encamped” (vayichan, וַיִּחַן) in that all the Israelites agreed and were of one mind. (Mekhilta Bahodesh 1:47:3:1.)

The Mishnah
Mishnah
The Mishnah or Mishna is the first major written redaction of the Jewish oral traditions called the "Oral Torah". It is also the first major work of Rabbinic Judaism. It was redacted c...

 noted that oxen were the same as all other beasts insofar as they were required by to keep away from Mount Sinai. (Mishnah Bava Kamma 5:7.)

The Mishnah deduced from that a woman who emits semen on the third day after intercourse is unclean. (Mishnah Shabbat 9:3.)

The Rabbis compared the Israelites’ encounter at Sinai to Jacob
Jacob
Jacob "heel" or "leg-puller"), also later known as Israel , as described in the Hebrew Bible, the Talmud, the New Testament and the Qur'an was the third patriarch of the Hebrew people with whom God made a covenant, and ancestor of the tribes of Israel, which were named after his descendants.In the...

’s dream in Genesis  The “ladder
Jacob's Ladder
Jacob's Ladder is a "ladder to heaven", described by biblical Jacob in the Book of GenesisJacob's Ladder may also refer to:* Ladder of Jacob, a pseudepigraphic text of the Old Testament...

” in Jacob’s dream symbolizes Mount Sinai. That the ladder is “set upon (מֻצָּב, mutzav) the earth” recalls which says, “And they stood (וַיִּתְיַצְּבוּ, vayityatzvu) at the nether part of the mount.” The words of “and the top of it reached to heaven,” echo those of “And the mountain burned with fire to the heart of heaven.” “And behold the angels of God” alludes to Moses and Aaron. “Ascending” parallels “And Moses went up to God.” “And descending” parallels “And Moses went down from the mount.” And the words “and, behold, the Lord stood beside him” in parallel the words of “And the Lord came down upon Mount Sinai.” (Genesis Rabba
Genesis Rabba
Genesis Rabba is a religious text from Judaism's classical period. It is a midrash comprising a collection of ancient rabbinical homiletical interpretations of the Book of Genesis ....

h 68:12.)

Rabbi Levi addressed the question that raises: “Did ever a people hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as you have heard, and live?” ( in turn, refers back to the encounter at Sinai reported at and after.) Rabbi Levi taught that the world would not have been able to survive hearing the voice of God in God’s power, but instead, as says, “The voice of the Lord is with power.” That is, the voice of God came according to the power of each individual — young, old, or infant — to receive it. (Exodus Rabbah 29:1.)

Reading the words “And the Lord came down upon mount Sinai, to the top of the mount” in the Mekhilta supposed that one might think that God actually descended from heaven and transferred God’s Presence to the mountain. Thus the Mekhilta noted that (20:19 in the NJPS) says: “You yourselves have seen that I have talked with you from heaven,” and deduced that God bent down the heavens, lowering them to the top of the mountain, and spread the heavens as a person spreads a mattress on a bed, and spoke from the heavens as a person would speak from the top of a mattress. (Mekhilta Bahodesh 4:50:1:11–12.)
Rabbi Joshua ben Levi
Joshua ben Levi
Joshua ben Levi or Yehoshua ben Levi was an amora who lived in the land of Israel of the first half of the third century. He headed the school of Lydda in the southern Land of Israel. He was an elder contemporary of Johanan bar Nappaha and Resh Lakish, who presided over the school in Tiberias...

 taught that when Moses ascended on high (as reports), the ministering angels asked God what business one born of woman had among them. God told them that Moses had come to receive the Torah. The angels questioned why God was giving to flesh and blood the secret treasure that God had hidden for 974 generations before God created the world. The angels asked, in the words of “What is man, that You are mindful of him, and the son of man, that You think of him?” God told Moses to answer the angels. Moses asked God what was written in the Torah. In God said, “I am the Lord your God, Who brought you out of the Land of Egypt.” So Moses asked the angels whether the angels had gone down to Egypt or were enslaved to Pharaoh. As the angels had not, Moses asked them why then God should give them the Torah. Again, says, “You shall have no other gods,” so Moses asked the angels whether they lived among peoples that engage in idol worship. Again, (20:8 in the NJPS) says, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy,” so Moses asked the angels whether they performed work from which they needed to rest. Again, (20:7 in the NJPS) says, “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain,” so Moses asked the angels whether there were any business dealings among them in which they might swear oaths. Again, (20:12 in the NJPS) says, “Honor your father and your mother,” so Moses asked the angels whether they had fathers and mothers. Again, (20:13 in the NJPS) says, “You shall not murder; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal,” so Moses asked the angels whether there was jealousy among them and whether the Evil Tempter was among them. Immediately, the angels conceded that God’s plan was correct, and each angel felt moved to love Moses and give him gifts. Even the Angel of Death confided his secret to Moses, and that is how Moses knew what to do when, as reports, Moses told Aaron what to do to make atonement for the people, to stand between the dead and the living, and to check the plague. (Babylonian Talmud Shabbat 88b–89a.)

Exodus chapter 20



Rabbi Joshua ben Levi
Joshua ben Levi
Joshua ben Levi or Yehoshua ben Levi was an amora who lived in the land of Israel of the first half of the third century. He headed the school of Lydda in the southern Land of Israel. He was an elder contemporary of Johanan bar Nappaha and Resh Lakish, who presided over the school in Tiberias...

 taught that with every single word that God spoke (as reports), the Israelites’ souls departed, as Song of Songs
Song of songs
Song of Songs, also known as the Song of Solomon, is a book of the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament. It may also refer to:In music:* Song of songs , the debut album by David and the Giants* A generic term for medleysPlays...

  says: “My soul went forth when He spoke.” But if their souls departed at the first word, how could they receive the second word? God revived them with the dew with which God will resurrect the dead, as says, “You, O God, did send a plentiful rain; You did confirm your inheritance, when it was weary.” Rabbi Joshua ben Levi also taught that with every word that God spoke, the Israelites retreated a distance of 12 mils, but the ministering angels led them back, as says, “The hosts of angels march, they march (יִדֹּדוּן יִדֹּדוּן, yiddodun yiddodun).” Instead of yiddodun (“they march”), Rabbi Joshua ben Levi read yedaddun (“they lead”). (Babylonian Talmud Shabbat 88b.)

Rabbi Levi said that the section beginning at Leviticus  was spoken in the presence of the whole Israelite people, because it includes each of the Ten Commandments, noting that: (1) says, “I am the Lord your God,” and says, “I am the Lord your God”; (2) says, “You shall have no other gods,” and says, “Nor make to yourselves molten gods”; (3) (20:7 in the NJPS) says, “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain,” and says, “And you shall not swear by My name falsely”; (4) (20:8 in the NJPS) says, “Remember the Sabbath day,” and says, “And you shall keep My Sabbaths”; (5) (20:12 in the NJPS) says, “Honor your father and your mother,” and says, “You shall fear every man his mother, and his father”; (6) (20:13 in the NJPS) says, “You shall not murder,” and says, “Neither shall you stand idly by the blood of your neighbor”; (7) (20:13 in the NJPS) says, “You shall not commit adultery,” and says, “Both the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death; (8) (20:13 in the NJPS) says, “You shall not steal,” and says, “You shall not steal”; (9) (20:13 in the NJPS) says, “You shall not bear false witness,” and says, “You shall not go up and down as a talebearer”; and (10) (20:14 in the NJPS) says, “You shall not covet . . . anything that is your neighbor's,” and says, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Leviticus Rabbah
Leviticus Rabbah
Leviticus Rabbah, Vayikrah Rabbah, or Wayiqra Rabbah is a homiletic midrash to the Biblical book of Leviticus . It is referred to by Nathan ben Jehiel in his Aruk as well as by Rashi in his commentaries on , and elsewhere. According to Leopold Zunz, Hai Gaon and Nissim knew and made use of it...

 24:5.)
The Sifre
Sifre
Sifre refers to either of two works of Midrash halakhah, or classical Jewish legal Biblical exegesis, based on the biblical books of Bamidbar and Devarim .- The Talmudic-Era Sifre :The title "Sifre debe Rab" is used by R. Hananeel on Sheb. 37b, Alfasi on Pes...

 taught that to commit idolatry is to deny the entire Torah. (Sifre to Numbers 111:1:3.)

Tractate Avodah Zarah
Avodah Zarah
Avodah Zarah is the name of a tractate in the Talmud, located in Nezikin, the fourth Order of the Talmud dealing with damages...

 in the Mishnah, Tosefta
Tosefta
The Tosefta is a compilation of the Jewish oral law from the period of the Mishnah.-Overview:...

, Jerusalem Talmud
Jerusalem Talmud
The Jerusalem Talmud, talmud meaning "instruction", "learning", , is a collection of Rabbinic notes on the 2nd-century Mishnah which was compiled in the Land of Israel during the 4th-5th century. The voluminous text is also known as the Palestinian Talmud or Talmud de-Eretz Yisrael...

, and Babylonian Talmud interpreted the laws prohibiting idolatry in (20:3–6 in NJPS) and (5:7–10 in NJPS). (Mishnah Avodah Zarah 1:1–5:12; Tosefta Avodah Zarah 1:1–8:8; Jerusalem Talmud Avodah Zarah 1a–; Babylonian Talmud Avodah Zarah 2a–76b.)

The Mishnah taught that those who engaged in idol worship were executed, whether they served it, sacrificed to it, offered it incense, made libations to it, prostrated themselves to it, accepted it as a god, or said to it “You are my god.” But those who embraced, kissed, washed, anointed, clothed, or swept or sprinkled the ground before an idol merely transgressed the negative commandment of (20:5 in the NJPS) and were not executed. (Mishnah Sanhedrin 7:6; Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 60b.)

The Gemara
Gemara
The Gemara is the component of the Talmud comprising rabbinical analysis of and commentary on the Mishnah. After the Mishnah was published by Rabbi Judah the Prince The Gemara (also transliterated Gemora or, less commonly, Gemorra; from Aramaic גמרא gamar; literally, "[to] study" or "learning by...

 reconciled apparently discordant verses touching on vicarious responsibility. The Gemara noted that states: “The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers; every man shall be put to death for his own sin,” but (20:5 in the NJPS) says: “visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children.” The Gemara cited a Baraita
Baraita
Baraita designates a tradition in the Jewish oral law not incorporated in the Mishnah. "Baraita" thus refers to teachings "outside" of the six orders of the Mishnah...

 that interpreted the words “the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them” in to teach that God punishes children only when they follow their parents’ sins. The Gemara then questioned whether the words “they shall stumble one upon another” in do not teach that one will stumble through the sin of the other, that all are held responsible for one another. The Gemara answered that the vicarious responsibility of which speaks is limited to those who have the power to restrain their fellow from evil but do not do so. (Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 27b.)

Tractates Nedarim and Shevuot
Shevu'ot
Shevu'ot or Shevuot is a book of the Mishnah and Talmud. It is the sixth volume of the book of Nezikin. Shevu'ot deals primarily with the laws of oaths in halakha ....

 in the Mishnah, Tosefta, Jerusalem Talmud, and Babylonian Talmud interpreted the laws of vows in (20:7 in the NJPS), and Numbers
Book of Numbers
The Book of Numbers is the fourth book of the Hebrew Bible, and the fourth of five books of the Jewish Torah/Pentateuch....

  and (Mishnah Nedarim 1:1–11:11; Tosefta Nedarim 1:1–7:8; Jerusalem Talmud Nedarim 1a–; Babylonian Talmud Nedarim 2a–91b; Mishnah Shevuot 1:1–8:6; Tosefta Shevuot 1:1–6:7; Jerusalem Talmud Shevuot 1a–; Babylonian Talmud Shevuot 2a–49b.)


Tractate Shabbat
Moed
Moed is the second Order of the Mishnah, the first written recording of the Oral Torah of the Jewish people . Of the six orders of the Mishna, Moed is the third shortest. The order of Moed consists of 12 tractates:# Shabbat: or Shabbath deals with the 39 prohibitions of "work" on the Shabbat...

 in the Mishnah, Tosefta, Jerusalem Talmud, and Babylonian Talmud interpreted the laws of the Sabbath in (20:8–11 in the NJPS). (Mishnah Shabbat 1:1–24:5; Tosefta Shabbat 1:1–17:29; Jerusalem Talmud Shabbat 1a–; Babylonian Talmud Shabbat 2a–157b.)

The Mishnah interpreted the prohibition of animals working in (20:10 in the NJPS) to teach that on the Sabbath, animals could wear their tethers, and their caretakers could lead them by their tethers and sprinkle or immerse them with water. (Mishnah Shabbat 5:1; Babylonian Talmud Shabbat 51b.) The Mishnah taught that a donkey could go out with a saddle cushion tied to it, rams strapped, ewes covered, and goats with their udders tied. Rabbi Jose
Jose ben Halafta
Rabbi Jose ben Halafta or Yose ben Halafta was a Tanna of the fourth generation . Jose was a student of Rabbi Akiba and was regarded as one of the foremost scholars of halakha and aggadah of his day...

 forbade all these, except covering ewes. Rabbi Judah allowed goats to go out with their udders tied to dry, but not to save their milk. (Mishnah Shabbat 5:2; Babylonian Talmud Shabbat 52b.) The Mishnah taught that animals could not go out with a pad tied to their tails. A driver could not tie camels together and pull one of them, but a driver could take the leads of several camels in hand and pull them. (Mishnah Shabbat 5:3; Babylonian Talmud Shabbat 54a.) The Mishnah prohibited donkeys with untied cushions, bells, ladder–shaped yokes, or thongs around their feet; fowls with ribbons or leg straps; rams with wagons; ewes protected by wood chips in their noses; calves with little yokes; and cows with hedgehog skins or straps between their horns. The Mishnah reported that Rabbi Eleazar ben Azariah’s cow used to go out with a thong between its horns, but without the consent of the Rabbis. (Mishnah Shabbat 5:4; Babylonian Talmud Shabbat 54b.)
The Mishnah taught that both men and women are obligated to carry out all commandments concerning their fathers. (Mishnah Kiddushin 1:7; Babylonian Talmud Kiddushin 29a, 30b.) Rav Judah
Judah ben Ezekiel
Judah ben Ezekiel , was a Babylonian amora of the 2nd generation. He was the most prominent disciple of Rav , in whose house he often stayed, and whose son Hiyya was his pupil...

 interpreted the Mishnah to mean that both men and women are bound to perform all precepts concerning a father that are incumbent upon a son to perform for his father. (Babylonian Talmud Kiddushin 30b.)

A midrash
Midrash
The Hebrew term Midrash is a homiletic method of biblical exegesis. The term also refers to the whole compilation of homiletic teachings on the Bible....

 noted that almost everywhere, Scripture mentions a father’s honor before the mother’s honor. (See, for example, (20:12 in NJSP), (5:16 in the NJPS)) But mentions the mother first to teach that one should honor both parents equally. (Genesis Rabbah 1:15.)

Our Rabbis taught in a Baraita what it means to “honor” and “revere” one’s parents within the meaning of (20:12 in NJSP) (honor), (revere), and (5:16 in the NJPS) (honor). To “revere” means that the child must neither stand nor sit in the parent’s place, nor contradict the parent’s words, nor engage in a dispute to which the parent is a party. To “honor” means that the child must give the parent food and drink and clothes, and take the parent in and out. (Babylonian Talmud Kiddushin 31b.)

According to the Mishnah, if witnesses testified that a person was liable to receive 40 lashes, and the witnesses turned out to have perjured themselves, then Rabbi Meir taught that the perjurers received 80 lashes — 40 on account of the commandment of (20:13 in the NJPS) not to bear false witness and 40 on account of the instruction of to do to perjurers as they intended to do to their victims — but the Sages said that they received only 40 lashes. (Mishnah Makkot 1:3; Babylonian Talmud Makkot 4a.)

Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish taught that the commandment of (20:13 in the NJPS) not to bear false witness included every case of false testimony. (Jerusalem Talmud Terumot 64a.)

Rabbi Ishmael
Ishmael ben Elisha
Rabbi Ishmael or Ishmael ben Elisha was a Tanna of the 1st and 2nd centuries . A Tanna is a rabbinic sage whose views are recorded in the Mishnah.-Disposition:...

 interpreted the words “all the people perceived the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the voice of the horn” in (20:15 in the NJPS) to mean that the people saw what could be seen and heard what could be heard. But Rabbi Akiba said that they saw and heard what was perceivable, and they saw the fiery word of God strike the tablets. (Mekhilta Bahodesh 55:1:1.)

The Gemara taught that (20:17 in NJPS) sets forth one of the three most distinguishing virtues of the Jewish People. The Gemara taught that David
David
David was the second king of the united Kingdom of Israel according to the Hebrew Bible and, according to the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, an ancestor of Jesus Christ through both Saint Joseph and Mary...

 told the Gibeonites that the Israelites are distinguished by three characteristics: They are merciful, bashful, and benevolent. They are merciful, for says that God would “show you (the Israelites) mercy, and have compassion upon you, and multiply you.” They are bashful, for (20:17 in NJPS) says “that God’s fear may be before you (the Israelites).” And they are benevolent, for says of Abraham
Abraham
Abraham , whose birth name was Abram, is the eponym of the Abrahamic religions, among which are Judaism, Christianity and Islam...

 “that he may command his children and his household after him, that they may keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice.” The Gemara taught that David told the Gibeonites that only one who cultivates these three characteristics is fit to join the Jewish People. (Babylonian Talmud Yevamot 79a.)

The Mishnah deduced from (20:21 in the NJPS) that even when only a single person sits occupied with Torah, the Shekhinah
Shekhinah
Shekinah is the English spelling of a grammatically feminine Hebrew word that means the dwelling or settling, and is used to denote the dwelling or settling divine presence of God, especially in the Temple in Jerusalem.-Etymology:Shekinah is derived...

 is with the student. (Mishnah Avot 3:6.)

Rabbi Isaac taught that God reasoned that if God said in (20:21 in NJPS), "An altar of earth you shall make to Me [and then] I will come to you and bless you," thus revealing God's Self to bless the one who built an altar in God's name, then how much more should God reveal God's Self to Abraham, who circumcised himself for God's sake. And thus, "the Lord appear to him." (Genesis Rabbah 48:4.)

Bar Kappara
Bar Kappara
Shimon Bar Kappara was a Jewish rabbi of the late 2nd and early 3rd century CE, during the period between the tannaim and amoraim. He was active in Caesarea in the Land of Israel, from around 180 to 220 CE. His name, meaning “Son of Kapparah”, was taken from his father, Eleazar ha-Kappar...

 taught that every dream has its interpretation. Thus Bar Kappara taught that the “ladder” in Jacob’s dream of symbolizes the stairway leading up to the altar in the Temple in Jerusalem
Temple in Jerusalem
The Temple in Jerusalem or Holy Temple , refers to one of a series of structures which were historically located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, the current site of the Dome of the Rock. Historically, these successive temples stood at this location and functioned as the centre of...

. “Set upon the earth” implies the altar, as (20:21 in NJPS) says, “An altar of earth you shall make for Me.” “And the top of it reached to heaven” implies the sacrifices, the odor of which ascended to heaven. “The angels of God” symbolize the High Priests. “Ascending and descending on it” describes the priests ascending and descending the stairway of the altar. And the words “and, behold, the Lord stood beside him” in once again invoke the altar, as in Amos
Book of Amos
The Book of Amos is a prophetic book of the Hebrew Bible, one of the Twelve Minor Prophets. Amos, an older contemporary of Hosea and Isaiah, was active c. 750 BCE during the reign of Jeroboam II, making the Book of Amos the first biblical prophetic book written. Amos lived in the kingdom of Judah...

  the prophet reports, “I saw the Lord standing beside the altar.” (Genesis Rabbah 68:12.)

Commandments


According to Sefer ha-Chinuch
Sefer ha-Chinuch
The Sefer ha-Chinuch , often simply "the Chinuch" is a work which systematically discusses the 613 commandments of the Torah. It was published anonymously in 13th century Spain...

, there are 3 positive and 14 negative commandments
Mitzvah
The primary meaning of the Hebrew word refers to precepts and commandments as commanded by God...

 in the parshah:
  • To know there is a God
  • Not to believe in divinity besides God
  • Not to make an idol
    Idolatry
    Idolatry is a pejorative term for the worship of an idol, a physical object such as a cult image, as a god, or practices believed to verge on worship, such as giving undue honour and regard to created forms other than God. In all the Abrahamic religions idolatry is strongly forbidden, although...

     for yourself
  • Not to worship idols in the manner they are worshiped
  • Not to worship idols in the four ways we worship God
  • Not to take God's Name in vain
  • To sanctify the Sabbath with Kiddush
    Kiddush
    Kiddush , literally, "sanctification," is a blessing recited over wine or grape juice to sanctify the Shabbat and Jewish holidays.-Significance:...

     and Havdalah
    Havdalah
    Havdalah is a Jewish religious ceremony that marks the symbolic end of Shabbat and holidays, and ushers in the new week. Shabbat ends on Saturday night after the appearance of three stars in the sky...

     
  • Not to do prohibited labor on the Sabbath
  • To respect your father and mother
  • Not to murder
  • Not to commit adultery
  • Not to kidnap
  • Not to testify falsely
  • Not to covet another's possession
  • Not to make human forms even for decorative purposes
  • Not to build the altar with hewn stones
  • Not to climb steps to the altar


(Sefer HaHinnuch: The Book of [Mitzvah] Education. Translated by Charles Wengrov, 1:141–97. Jerusalem: Feldheim Pub., 1991. ISBN 0-87306-179-9.)


Haftarah


The haftarah
Haftarah
The haftarah or haftoroh is a series of selections from the books of Nevi'im of the Hebrew Bible that is publicly read in synagogue as part of Jewish religious practice...

 for the parshah is Isaiah
Book of Isaiah
The Book of Isaiah is the first of the Latter Prophets in the Hebrew Bible, preceding the books of Ezekiel, Jeremiah and the Book of the Twelve...

  and

Connection to the Parshah


Both the parshah and the haftarah recount God’s revelation. Both the parshah and the haftarah describe Divine Beings as winged. Both the parshah and the haftarah report God’s presence accompanied by shaking and smoke. And both the parshah and the haftarah speak of making Israel a holy community.

In the liturgy


The second blessing before the Shema
Shema Yisrael
Shema Yisrael are the first two words of a section of the Torah that is a centerpiece of the morning and evening Jewish prayer services...

speaks of how God “loves His people Israel,” reflecting the statement of that Israel is God’s people. (Reuven Hammer
Reuven Hammer
Reuven Hammer is a Conservative Jewish rabbi, scholar of Jewish liturgy, author and lecturer. He is a founder of the Masorti movement in Israel and a past president of the International Rabbinical Assembly. He served many years as head of the Masorti Beth Din in Israel...

. Or Hadash: A Commentary on Siddur Sim Shalom
Siddur Sim Shalom
Siddur Sim Shalom may refer to any siddur in a family of siddurim, Jewish prayerbooks, and related commentaries on these siddurim, published by the Rabbinical Assembly and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism....

 for Shabbat and Festivals
, 29. New York: The Rabbinical Assembly
Rabbinical Assembly
The Rabbinical Assembly is the international association of Conservative rabbis. The RA was founded in 1901 to shape the ideology, programs, and practices of the Conservative movement. It publishes prayerbooks and books of Jewish interest, and oversees the work of the Committee on Jewish Law and...

, 2003. ISBN 0-916219-20-8.)

The fire surrounding God’s Presence in is reflected in which is in turn one of the six Psalms
Psalms
The Book of Psalms , commonly referred to simply as Psalms, is a book of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Bible...

 recited at the beginning of the Kabbalat Shabbat prayer service
Jewish services
Jewish prayer are the prayer recitations that form part of the observance of Judaism. These prayers, often with instructions and commentary, are found in the siddur, the traditional Jewish prayer book....

. (Hammer, at 17.)

The Lekhah Dodi
Lekhah Dodi
Lekhah Dodi is a Hebrew-language Jewish liturgical song recited Friday at dusk, usually at sundown, in synagogue to welcome Shabbat prior to the Maariv...

 liturgical poem of the Kabbalat Shabbat service quotes both the commandment of (Exodus 20:8 in the NJPS) to “remember” the Sabbath and the commandment of (Deuteronomy 5:12 in the NJPS) to “keep” or “observe” the Sabbath, saying that they “were uttered as one by our Creator.” (Hammer at 21.)

And following the Kabbalat Shabbat service and prior to the Friday evening (Ma'ariv
Jewish services
Jewish prayer are the prayer recitations that form part of the observance of Judaism. These prayers, often with instructions and commentary, are found in the siddur, the traditional Jewish prayer book....

) service, Jews traditionally read rabbinic sources on the observance of the Sabbath, including Genesis Rabbah 11:9. Genesis Rabbah 11:9, in turn, interpreted the commandment of (Exodus 20:8 in the NJPS) to “remember” the Sabbath. (Hammer at 26.)

The Kiddusha Rabba
Kiddush
Kiddush , literally, "sanctification," is a blessing recited over wine or grape juice to sanctify the Shabbat and Jewish holidays.-Significance:...

blessing for the Sabbath day meal quotes (Exodus 20:8–11 in the NJPS) immediately before the blessing on wine. (Menachem Davis. The Schottenstein Edition Siddur for the Sabbath and Festivals with an Interlinear Translation, 458–59. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 2002. ISBN 1-57819-697-3.)

Among the zemirot
Zemirot
Zemirot or Z'mirot are Jewish hymns, usually sung in the Hebrew or Aramaic languages, but sometimes also in Yiddish or Ladino. The best known zemirot are those sung around the table during Shabbat and Jewish holidays...

or songs of praise for the Sabbath day meal, the song Baruch Kel Elyon, written by Rabbi Baruch ben Samuel
Baruch ben Samuel
Baruch ben Samuel , also called Baruch of Mainz to distinguish him from Baruch ben Isaac, was a Talmudist and prolific payyeṭan, who flourished in Mainz at the beginning of the thirteenth century. He was a pupil of Moses ben Solomon ha-Kohen of Mainz and of Eliezer ben Samuel of Metz; the judicial...

, quotes (Exodus 20:8 in the NJPS) and in concluding paraphrases (Exodus 20:10 in the NJPS), saying “In all your dwellings, do not do work — your sons and daughters, the servant and the maidservant.” (Davis, at 466.)

Similarly, among the zemirot for the Sabbath day meal, the song Yom Zeh Mechubad paraphrases (Exodus 20:9–11 in the NJPS), saying, “This day is honored from among all days, for on it rested the One Who fashioned the universe. Six days you may do your work, but the Seventh Day belongs to your God. The Sabbath: Do not do on it any work, for everything God completed in six days.” (Davis, at 466–67.)

Many Jews study successive chapters of Pirkei Avot (Chapters of the Fathers) on Sabbaths between Passover
Passover
Passover is a Jewish holiday and festival. It commemorates the story of the Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt...

 and Rosh Hashanah
Rosh Hashanah
Rosh Hashanah , , is the Jewish New Year. It is the first of the High Holy Days or Yamim Nora'im which occur in the autumn...

. And Avot 3:6 quotes (20:21 in the NJPS) for the proposition that even when only a single person sits occupied with Torah, the Shekhinah is with the student. (Davis, at 549.)

The Weekly Maqam


In the Weekly Maqam
The Weekly Maqam
In Mizrahi and Sephardic Middle Eastern Jewish prayer services, each Shabbat the congregation conducts services using a different maqam. A maqam , which in Arabic literally means 'place', is a standard melody type and set of related tunes. The melodies used in a given maqam aims effectively to...

, Sephardi Jews
Sephardi Jews
Sephardi Jews is a general term referring to the descendants of the Jews who lived in the Iberian Peninsula before their expulsion in the Spanish Inquisition. It can also refer to those who use a Sephardic style of liturgy or would otherwise define themselves in terms of the Jewish customs and...

 each week base the songs of the services on the content of that week's parshah. For Parshah Yitro, Sephardi Jews apply Maqam Hoseni, the maqam that expresses beauty. This is especially appropriate in this parshah because it is the parshah where the Israelites receive the Ten Commandments.

Biblical

(punishing children for fathers’ sin). (vows); (vows). (punishing children for fathers’ sin); (vows). (sharing administrative duties); (ten commandments); (5:9 in the NJPS) (punishing children for fathers’ sin); (vows); (no capital punishment of children for fathers’ sin).
  • Jeremiah
    Book of Jeremiah
    The Book of Jeremiah is the second of the Latter Prophets in the Hebrew Bible, following the book of Isaiah and preceding Ezekiel and the Book of the Twelve....

      (31:29–30 in the NJPS) (not punishing children for fathers’ sin).
  • Ezekiel
    Book of Ezekiel
    The Book of Ezekiel is the third of the Latter Prophets in the Hebrew Bible, following the books of Isaiah and Jeremiah and preceding the Book of the Twelve....

      (not punishing children for fathers’ sin); (the just does not rob). (graven images).


Early nonrabbinic

  • Josephus
    Josephus
    Titus Flavius Josephus , also called Joseph ben Matityahu , was a 1st-century Romano-Jewish historian and hagiographer of priestly and royal ancestry who recorded Jewish history, with special emphasis on the 1st century AD and the First Jewish–Roman War, which resulted in the Destruction of...

    . Antiquities of the Jews
    Antiquities of the Jews
    Antiquities of the Jews is a twenty volume historiographical work composed by the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus in the thirteenth year of the reign of Roman emperor Flavius Domitian which was around 93 or 94 AD. Antiquities of the Jews contains an account of history of the Jewish people,...

    . 3:3:1 3:5:6. Circa 93–94. Reprinted in, e.g., The Works of Josephus: Complete and Unabridged, New Updated Edition. Translated by William Whiston
    William Whiston
    William Whiston was an English theologian, historian, and mathematician. He is probably best known for his translation of the Antiquities of the Jews and other works by Josephus, his A New Theory of the Earth, and his Arianism...

    , 83–85. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Pub., 1987. ISBN 0-913573-86-8.

Classical rabbinic

  • Mishnah
    Mishnah
    The Mishnah or Mishna is the first major written redaction of the Jewish oral traditions called the "Oral Torah". It is also the first major work of Rabbinic Judaism. It was redacted c...

    : Shabbat 5:1–4, 9:3; Nedarim 1:1–11:11; Bava Kamma 5:7; Sanhedrin 7:6; Makkot 1:3; Shevuot 1:1–8:6; Avodah Zarah 1:1–5:12; Avot 3:6. Land of Israel, circa 200 CE. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner
    Jacob Neusner
    Jacob Neusner is an American academic scholar of Judaism who lives in Rhinebeck, New York.-Biography:Born in Hartford, Connecticut, Neusner was educated at Harvard University, the Jewish Theological Seminary of America , the University of Oxford, and Columbia University.Neusner is often celebrated...

    , 184, 190, 515, 598, 610, 660–72, 679. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988. ISBN 0-300-05022-4.
  • Tosefta
    Tosefta
    The Tosefta is a compilation of the Jewish oral law from the period of the Mishnah.-Overview:...

    : Maaser Sheni 5:27; Shabbat 1:21; Sukkah 4:3; Megillah 3:5, 24; Sotah 4:1, 7:2; Bava Kamma 3:2–3, 4:6, 6:4, 14, 7:5, 9:7, 17, 20, 22, 26; Sanhedrin 3:2, 4:7, 12:3; Makkot 1:7; Shevuot 3:6, 8; Avodah Zarah 1:1–8:8; Arakhin 2:10, 5:9. Land of Israel, circa 300 CE. Reprinted in, e.g., The Tosefta: Translated from the Hebrew, with a New Introduction. Translated by Jacob Neusner, vol. 1: 330, 360, 579, 645, 650, 844, 860; vol. 2: 962–63, 972, 978, 980, 987, 1001, 1004–06, 1150, 1159, 1185, 1201, 1232–34, 1261–93, 1499, 1514. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Pub., 2002. ISBN 1-56563-642-2.
  • Jerusalem Talmud
    Jerusalem Talmud
    The Jerusalem Talmud, talmud meaning "instruction", "learning", , is a collection of Rabbinic notes on the 2nd-century Mishnah which was compiled in the Land of Israel during the 4th-5th century. The voluminous text is also known as the Palestinian Talmud or Talmud de-Eretz Yisrael...

    : Berakhot 5a, 12b–13a, 39a, 50b, 87a; Peah 6b; Sheviit 1a, 2a; Terumot 64a; Bikkurim 23b; Shabbat 1a–; Sukkah 3a, 24a; Nedarim 1a–; Shevuot 1a–; Avodah Zarah 1a–. Land of Israel, circa 400 CE. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Yerushalmi. Edited by Chaim Malinowitz, Yisroel Simcha Schorr, and Mordechai Marcus, vols. 1–3, 6a, 8, 12, 22. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 2005–2010.
  • Mekhilta According to Rabbi Ishmael
    Mekhilta
    This article refers to the Mekhilta de-Rabbi Ishmael. There is a separate article on the Mekhilta de-Rabbi ShimonMekhilta or Mekilta is a halakic midrash to the Book of Exodus...

     47:1–57:1. Land of Israel, late 4th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Mekhilta According to Rabbi Ishmael. Translated by Jacob Neusner, 2:37–103. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1988. ISBN 1-55540-237-2. And Mekhilta de-Rabbi Ishmael. Translated by Jacob Z. Lauterbach, 2:271–354. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1933, reissued 2004. ISBN 0-8276-0678-8.
  • Mekhilta of Rabbi Simeon
    Mekhilta de-Rabbi Shimon
    The Mekhilta de-Rabbi Shimon is a Halakic midrash on Exodus from the school of R. Akiba, the "Rabbi Shimon" in question being Shimon bar Yochai. No midrash of this name is mentioned in Talmudic literature, but medieval authors refer to one which they call either "Mekilta de-R. Simeon b. Yoḥai," or...

     20:3; 26:1; 34:2; 44:1–2; 46:1–57:3; 68:1–2; 74:4, 6; 77:4; 78:4; 82:1. Land of Israel, 5th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Mekhilta de-Rabbi Shimon bar Yohai. Translated by W. David Nelson, 83–84, 113, 147, 186, 195–209, 212–58, 305, 347, 349, 359, 364, 372–73. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 2006. ISBN 0-8276-0799-7.


Medieval

  • Saadia Gaon
    Saadia Gaon
    Saʻadiah ben Yosef Gaon was a prominent rabbi, Jewish philosopher, and exegete of the Geonic period.The first important rabbinic figure to write extensively in Arabic, he is considered the founder of Judeo-Arabic literature...

    . The Book of Beliefs and Opinions
    Emunoth ve-Deoth
    Emunoth ve-Deoth or Emunoth w'D'oth written by Rabbi Saadia Gaon - originally Kitāb ul-ʾamānāt wal-iʿtiqādāt - was the first systematic presentation and philosophic foundation of the dogmas of Judaism. The work is prefaced by an introduction and has ten chapters; it was completed in 933...

    , Intro. 6; 2:12; 5:4, 6; 6:6; 9:2; 10:11. Baghdad, Babylonia, 933. Translated by Samuel Rosenblatt, 31–32, 128, 130, 219–20, 225–26, 254, 327–28, 385. New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1948. ISBN 0-300-04490-9.

  • Exodus Rabbah
    Exodus Rabbah
    Exodus Rabbah is the midrash to Exodus, containing in the printed editions 52 parashiyyot. It is not uniform in its composition.- Structure :In parashiyyot i.-xiv...

     27:1–29:9. 10th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Midrash Rabbah: Exodus. Translated by S. M. Lehrman, vol. 3. London: Soncino Press, 1939. ISBN 0-900689-38-2.
  • Solomon ibn Gabirol
    Solomon ibn Gabirol
    Solomon ibn Gabirol, also Solomon ben Judah , was an Andalucian Hebrew poet and Jewish philosopher with a Neoplatonic bent. He was born in Málaga about 1021; died about 1058 in Valencia.-Biography:...

    . A Crown for the King, 29:357–58. Spain, 11th century. Translated by David R. Slavitt, 48–49. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998. ISBN 0-19-511962-2.
  • Rashi
    Rashi
    Shlomo Yitzhaki , or in Latin Salomon Isaacides, and today generally known by the acronym Rashi , was a medieval French rabbi famed as the author of a comprehensive commentary on the Talmud, as well as a comprehensive commentary on the Tanakh...

    . Commentary. Exodus 18–20. Troyes
    Troyes
    Troyes is a commune and the capital of the Aube department in north-central France. It is located on the Seine river about southeast of Paris. Many half-timbered houses survive in the old town...

    , France, late 11th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Rashi. The Torah: With Rashi’s Commentary Translated, Annotated, and Elucidated. Translated and annotated by Yisrael Isser Zvi Herczeg, 2:205–46. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 1994. ISBN 0-89906-027-7.
  • Judah Halevi
    Yehuda Halevi
    Judah Halevi was a Spanish Jewish physician, poet and philosopher. He was born in Spain, either in Toledo or Tudela, in 1075 or 1086, and died shortly after arriving in Palestine in 1141...

    . Kuzari
    Kuzari
    The Kitab al Khazari, commonly called the Kuzari, is one of most famous works of the medieval Spanish Jewish philosopher and poet Rabbi Yehuda Halevi, completed around 1140. Its title is an Arabic phrase meaning Book of the Khazars...

    . 1:87–91; 2:4; 3:39; 5:21. Toledo
    Toledo, Spain
    Toledo's Alcázar became renowned in the 19th and 20th centuries as a military academy. At the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 its garrison was famously besieged by Republican forces.-Economy:...

    , Spain, 1130–1140. Reprinted in, e.g., Jehuda Halevi. Kuzari: An Argument for the Faith of Israel. Intro. by Henry Slonimsky, 60–63, 87, 172, 290. New York: Schocken, 1964. ISBN 0-8052-0075-4.
  • Zohar
    Zohar
    The Zohar is the foundational work in the literature of Jewish mystical thought known as Kabbalah. It is a group of books including commentary on the mystical aspects of the Torah and scriptural interpretations as well as material on Mysticism, mythical cosmogony, and mystical psychology...

     2:67a–94a. Spain, late 13th century. Reprinted in, e.g., The Zohar. Translated by Harry Sperling and Maurice Simon. 5 vols. London: Soncino Press, 1934.


Modern

  • Thomas Hobbes
    Thomas Hobbes
    Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury , in some older texts Thomas Hobbs of Malmsbury, was an English philosopher, best known today for his work on political philosophy...

    . Leviathan
    Leviathan (book)
    Leviathan or The Matter, Forme and Power of a Common Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civil — commonly called simply Leviathan — is a book written by Thomas Hobbes and published in 1651. Its name derives from the biblical Leviathan...

    , 2:20; 3:35, 36, 40, 42; 4:45. England, 1651. Reprint edited by C. B. Macpherson
    C. B. Macpherson
    Crawford Brough Macpherson O.C. M.Sc. D. Sc. was an influential Canadian political scientist who taught political theory at the University of Toronto.-Life:...

    , 258, 444, 449, 464–65, 501–02, 504, 545–47, 672, 676. Harmondsworth, England: Penguin Classics, 1982. ISBN 0140431950.
  • Edward Taylor
    Edward Taylor
    Edward Taylor was a colonial American poet, pastor and physician.-Early life:...

    . “18. Meditation. Heb. 13.10. Wee Have an Altar.” In Preliminary Meditations: First Series. Cambridge, Mass.: Early 18th century. In Harold Bloom
    Harold Bloom
    Harold Bloom is an American writer and literary critic, and is Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale University. He is known for his defense of 19th-century Romantic poets, his unique and controversial theories of poetic influence, and his prodigious literary output, particularly for a literary...

    . American Religious Poems, 21–22. New York: Library of America, 2006. ISBN 978-1-931082-74-7.

  • Emily Dickinson
    Emily Dickinson
    Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was an American poet. Born in Amherst, Massachusetts, to a successful family with strong community ties, she lived a mostly introverted and reclusive life...

    . Poem 564 (My period had come for Prayer —). Circa 1862. Poem 1260 (Because that you are going). Circa 1873. Poem 1591 (The Bobolink is gone —). Circa 1883. Poem 1719 (God is indeed a jealous God —). 19th century. In The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson. Edited by Thomas H. Johnson, 274–75, 551–52, 659, 698. New York: Little, Brown & Co., 1960. ISBN 0-316-18414-4.
  • Franklin E. Hoskins. “The Route Over Which Moses Led the Children of Israel Out of Egypt.” National Geographic
    National Geographic Magazine
    National Geographic, formerly the National Geographic Magazine, is the official journal of the National Geographic Society. It published its first issue in 1888, just nine months after the Society itself was founded...

    . (Dec. 1909): 1011–38.
  • Maynard Owen Williams
    Maynard Owen Williams
    Maynard Owen Williams was a National Geographic correspondent from 1919. He was an inveterate traveller who began travelling in his teens, explored Asia and witnessed the Russian Revolution, among other adventures....

    . “East of Suez to the Mount of the Decalogue: Following the Trail Over Which Moses Led the Israelites from the Slave-Pens of Egypt to Sinai.” National Geographic. (Dec. 1927): 708–43.
  • A. M. Klein
    A. M. Klein
    Abraham Moses Klein was a Canadian poet, journalist, novelist, short story writer, and lawyer. He has been called "One of Canada's greatest poets and a leading figure in Jewish-Canadian culture."...

    . “Sacred Enough You Are.” Canada, 1940. Reprinted in The Collected Poems of A.M. Klein, 152. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1974. ISBN 0-07-077625-3.
  • Thomas Mann
    Thomas Mann
    Thomas Mann was a German novelist, short story writer, social critic, philanthropist, essayist, and 1929 Nobel Prize laureate, known for his series of highly symbolic and ironic epic novels and novellas, noted for their insight into the psychology of the artist and the intellectual...

    . Joseph and His Brothers
    Joseph and His Brothers
    Joseph and His Brothers is a four-part novel by Thomas Mann, written over the course of 16 years. Mann retells the familiar stories of Genesis, from Jacob to Joseph , setting it in the historical context of the Amarna Period...

    . Translated by John E. Woods
    John E. Woods
    John E. Woods is a translator who specializes in translating German literature, since about 1978. His work includes much of the fictional prose of Arno Schmidt and the works of contemporary authors such as Ingo Schulze and Christoph Ransmayr...

    , 257, 325, 612, 788. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005. ISBN 1-4000-4001-9. Originally published as Joseph und seine Brüder. Stockholm: Bermann-Fischer Verlag, 1943.

  • Thomas Mann, Rebecca West
    Rebecca West
    Cicely Isabel Fairfield , known by her pen name Rebecca West, or Dame Rebecca West, DBE was an English author, journalist, literary critic and travel writer. A prolific, protean author who wrote in many genres, West was committed to feminist and liberal principles and was one of the foremost public...

    , Franz Werfel
    Franz Werfel
    Franz Werfel was an Austrian-Bohemian novelist, playwright, and poet.- Biography :Born in Prague , Werfel was the first of three children of a wealthy manufacturer of gloves and leather goods. His mother, Albine Kussi, was the daughter of a mill owner...

    , John Erskine
    John Erskine (educator)
    John Erskine was a U.S. educator and author, born in New York City and raised in Weehawken, New Jersey. He graduated from Columbia University ....

    , Bruno Frank
    Bruno Frank
    Bruno Frank was a German author, poet, dramatist, and humanist.Frank studied law and philosophy in Munich, where he later worked as a dramatist and novelist until the Reichstag fire in 1933...

    , Jules Romains
    Jules Romains
    Jules Romains, born Louis Henri Jean Farigoule , was a French poet and writer and the founder of the Unanimism literary movement...

    , André Maurois
    André Maurois
    André Maurois, born Emile Salomon Wilhelm Herzog was a French author.-Life:Maurois was born in Elbeuf and educated at the Lycée Pierre Corneille in Rouen, both in Normandy. Maurois was the son of Ernest Herzog, a Jewish textile manufacturer, and Alice Herzog...

    , Sigrid Undset
    Sigrid Undset
    Sigrid Undset was a Norwegian novelist who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1928.-Biography:Undset was born in Kalundborg, Denmark, but her family moved to Norway when she was two years old. In 1924, she converted to Catholicism and became a lay Dominican...

    , Hendrik Willem van Loon
    Hendrik Willem van Loon
    Hendrik Willem van Loon was a Dutch-American historian and journalist.-Life:He was born in Rotterdam, the son of Hendrik Willem van Loon and Elisabeth Johanna Hanken. He went to the United States in 1902 to study at Cornell University, receiving his degree in 1905...

    , Louis Bromfield
    Louis Bromfield
    Louis Bromfield was an American author and conservationist who gained international recognition winning the Pulitzer Prize and pioneering innovative scientific farming concepts.-Biography:...

    , Herman Rauchning
    Hermann Rauschning
    Hermann Rauschning was a GermanConservative Revolutionary who briefly joined the Nazis before breaking with them. In 1934 he renounced Nazi party membership and defected to the United States where he denounced Nazism...

    . The Ten Commandments: Ten Short Novels of Hitler's War Against the Moral Code. Edited by Armin L. Robinson. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1943.
  • Abraham Joshua Heschel
    Abraham Joshua Heschel
    Abraham Joshua Heschel was a Polish-born American rabbi and one of the leading Jewish theologians and Jewish philosophers of the 20th century.-Biography:...

    . The Sabbath. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1951. Reprinted 2005. ISBN 0-374-52975-2.
  • Morris Adler. The World of the Talmud, 28–29. B’nai B’rith Hillel Foundations, 1958. Reprinted Kessinger Publishing, 2007. ISBN 0548080003.
  • Martin Buber
    Martin Buber
    Martin Buber was an Austrian-born Jewish philosopher best known for his philosophy of dialogue, a form of religious existentialism centered on the distinction between the I-Thou relationship and the I-It relationship....

    . On the Bible: Eighteen studies, 80–121. New York: Schocken Books, 1968.
  • W. Gunther Plaut
    Gunther Plaut
    Wolf Gunther Plaut, CC, O.Ont is a Reform rabbi and author. Plaut was the rabbi of Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto for several decades and since 1978 is its Senior Scholar....

    . Shabbat Manual. New York: CCAR, 1972.
  • Harvey Arden. “In Search of Moses.” National Geographic. (Jan. 1976): 2–37.
  • Walter J. Harrelson. The Ten Commandments and Human Rights. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1980. ISBN 0-8006-1527-1. Revised ed. Mercer Univ. Press, 1997. ISBN 0865545421.
  • Harvey Arden. “Eternal Sinai.” National Geographic. 161 (4) (Apr. 1982): 420–61.

  • David Noel Freedman
    David Noel Freedman
    David Noel Freedman , son of the writer David Freedman, was a biblical scholar, author, editor, archaeologist, and ordained Presbyterian minister ....

    . “The Nine Commandments: The secret progress of Israel’s sins.” Bible Review
    Bible Review
    Bible Review was a publication that sought to connect the academic study of the Bible to a broad general audience. Covering both the Old and New Testaments, Bible Review presented critical and historical interpretations of biblical texts, and “reader-friendly Biblical scholarship” from 1985 to...

    . 5 (6) (Dec. 1989).
  • Krzysztof Kieślowski
    Krzysztof Kieslowski
    Krzysztof Kieślowski was an Academy Award nominated influential Polish film director and screenwriter, known internationally for The Double Life of Veronique and his film cycles The Decalogue and Three Colors.-Early life:...

    . The Decalogue
    The Decalogue
    The Decalogue is a 1989 Polish television drama series directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski and co-written by Kieślowski with Krzysztof Piesiewicz, with music by Zbigniew Preisner...

    . Warsaw: Sender Freies Berlin (SFB), Telewizja Polska (TVP), and Zespol Filmowy “Tor,” 1989.
  • Moshe Weinfeld
    Moshe Weinfeld
    Moshe Weinfeld , Professor Emeritus of Bible at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and recipient of the 1994 Israel Prize for Bible.-Biography:...

    . “What Makes the Ten Commandments Different?” Bible Review. 7 (2) (Apr. 1991).
  • Pinchas H. Peli. The Jewish Sabbath: A Renewed Encounter. New York: Schocken, 1991. ISBN 0-8052-0998-0.
  • S.Y. Agnon
    Shmuel Yosef Agnon
    Shmuel Yosef Agnon , was a Nobel Prize laureate writer and was one of the central figures of modern Hebrew fiction. In Hebrew, he is known by the acronym Shai Agnon . In English, his works are published under the name S. Y. Agnon.Agnon was born in Galicia, Austro-Hungarian Empire...

    . Present at Sinai: The Giving of the Law. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1994. ISBN 0-8276-0503-X.
  • Elliot N. Dorff
    Elliot N. Dorff
    Elliot N. Dorff is a Conservative rabbi. He is a professor of Jewish theology at the American Jewish University in California , author and a bio-ethicist....

    . “Artificial Insemination, Egg Donation and Adoption.” New York: Rabbinical Assembly, 1994. EH 1:3.1994. Reprinted in Responsa: 1991–2000: The Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the Conservative Movement. Edited by Kassel Abelson and David J. Fine, 461, 483, 506. New York: Rabbinical Assembly, 2002. ISBN 0-916219-19-4. (duty of the children of artificial insemination to honor their social parents; implications of the duty to honor parents for single parenthood).
  • Elliot N. Dorff. “Jewish Businesses Open on Shabbat and Yom Tov: A Concurring Opinion.” New York: Rabbinical Assembly, 1995. OH 242.1995c. Reprinted in Responsa: 1991–2000: The Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the Conservative Movement. Edited by Kassel Abelson and David J. Fine, 64–70. New York: Rabbinical Assembly, 2002. ISBN 0-916219-19-4.
  • Elliot N. Dorff. “Family Violence.” New York: Rabbinical Assembly, 1995. HM 424.1995. Reprinted in Responsa: 1991–2000: The Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the Conservative Movement. Edited by Kassel Abelson and David J. Fine, 773, 786. New York: Rabbinical Assembly, 2002. ISBN 0-916219-19-4. (implications of the commandment to honor one’s parents for a duty to provide for dependent parents).
  • Marc Gellman. God’s Mailbox: More Stories About Stories in the Bible, 47–67. New York: Morrow Junior Books, 1996. ISBN 0-688-13169-7.
  • Mark Dov Shapiro. Gates of Shabbat: A Guide for Observing Shabbat. New York: CCAR Press, 1996. ISBN 0-88123-010-3.
  • Elliot N. Dorff. “Assisted Suicide.” New York: Rabbinical Assembly, 1997. YD 345.1997a. Reprinted in Responsa: 1991–2000: The Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the Conservative Movement. Edited by Kassel Abelson and David J. Fine, 379, 380. New York: Rabbinical Assembly, 2002. ISBN 0-916219-19-4. (implications of God’s ownership of the universe for assisted suicide).
  • Baruch J. Schwartz. “What Really Happened at Mount Sinai? Four biblical answers to one question.” Bible Review. 13 (5) (Oct. 1997).
  • William H.C. Propp. Exodus 1–18, 2:622–35. New York: Anchor Bible
    Anchor Bible Series
    The Anchor Bible project, consisting of a Commentary Series, Bible Dictionary, and Reference Library, is a scholarly and commercial co-venture begun in 1956, when individual volumes in the commentary series began production...

    , 1998. ISBN 0-385-14804-6.

  • Adin Steinsaltz
    Adin Steinsaltz
    Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz or Adin Even Yisrael is a teacher, philosopher, social critic, and spiritual mentor, who has been hailed by Time magazine as a "once-in-a-millennium scholar". He has devoted his life to making the Talmud accessible to all Jews...

    . Simple Words: Thinking About What Really Matters in Life, 49, 182. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1999. ISBN 068484642X.
  • David Noel Freedman. The Nine Commandments: Uncovering a Hidden Pattern of Crime and Punishment in the Hebrew Bible. New York: Doubleday, 2000. ISBN 0-385-49986-8.
  • Elie Kaplan Spitz. “Mamzerut.” New York: Rabbinical Assembly, 2000. EH 4.2000a. Reprinted in Responsa: 1991–2000: The Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the Conservative Movement. Edited by Kassel Abelson and David J. Fine, 558, 562–63, 566. New York: Rabbinical Assembly, 2002. ISBN 0-916219-19-4. (implications of the prohibition of adultery and God’s remembering wrongdoing until the third or fourth generation for the law of the mamzer).
  • Joseph Telushkin
    Joseph Telushkin
    Joseph Telushkin is an American rabbi, lecturer, and author.-Biography:Telushkin attended the Yeshiva of Flatbush, was ordained at Yeshiva University, and studied Jewish history at Columbia University....

    . The Ten Commandments of Character: Essential Advice for Living an Honorable, Ethical, Honest Life, 52–59, 61–65, 76–80, 129–32, 177–80, 189–90, 204–06, 275–78. New York: Bell Tower, 2003. ISBN 1-4000-4509-6.
  • William H.C. Propp. Exodus 19–40, 2A:101–85. New York: Anchor Bible, 2006. ISBN 0-385-24693-5.
  • Suzanne A. Brody. “Shabbat” and “Talking at Sinai.” In Dancing in the White Spaces: The Yearly Torah Cycle and More Poems, 51–57, 79. Shelbyville, Kentucky: Wasteland Press, 2007. ISBN 1-60047-112-9.
  • Esther Jungreis
    Esther Jungreis
    Esther Jungreis is the founder of the international Hineni movement in America. A Holocaust survivor, she has made it her life's mission to bring back Jews to Orthodox Judaism.-Biography:...

    . Life Is a Test, 208, 227. Brooklyn: Shaar Press, 2007. ISBN 1-4226-0609-0.
  • United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
    United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
    The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime is a United Nations agency that was established in 1997 as the Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention by combining the United Nations International Drug Control Program and the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Division in the United Nations...

    . International Homicide Statistics. 2009.
  • Frank Newport. “Extramarital Affairs, Like Sanford’s, Morally Taboo: Recent Confessions of Affairs by Elected Officials Fly in Face of Americans’ Normative Standards” Gallup Inc. June 25, 2009.
  • Ziv Hellman. “And on the Seventh Day: Israelis ponder the public nature of the Shabbath in a state that seeks to be both Jewish and democratic.” The Jerusalem Report
    The Jerusalem Report
    The Jerusalem Report is a biweekly print and online newsmagazine that covers political and social issues in Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world...

    . 20 (19) (Jan. 4, 2009): 26–30.
  • “Day of Rest: Judith Shulevitz’s New Book Considers the Sabbath Throughout the Ages and in Her Own Life.” In Tablet Magazine
    Tablet Magazine
    Tablet Magazine is a two-time National Magazine Award-winning online publication of Jewish life, arts, and ideas. Sponsored by Nextbook, it was launched in June 2009. Its Editor in Chief is Alana Newhouse....

    . (Mar. 15, 2010).
  • “Body Image: An Art Historian Tackles the Thorny Matter of Jews and Figurative Painting.” In Tablet Magazine. (June 7, 2010). (the commandment not to make graven images and Jewish artists).
  • Joseph Telushkin
    Joseph Telushkin
    Joseph Telushkin is an American rabbi, lecturer, and author.-Biography:Telushkin attended the Yeshiva of Flatbush, was ordained at Yeshiva University, and studied Jewish history at Columbia University....

    . Hillel: If Not Now, When? 55–57. New York: Nextbook, Schocken, 2010. ISBN 978-0-8052-4281-2. (honoring father and mother).

Texts


Commentaries