Torah Pearls #17 – Yitro (Exodus 18:1-20:23)

Torah Pearls Yitro, Exodus 18:1-20:23, Caleb, Calev, canine, didgeridoo, dog, Georgia, Jethro, Kelev, puppy, Ridgeback, Torah PearlsThis episode of The Original Torah Pearls is on Torah portion of Yitro (Exodus 18:1-20:23). This week’s program is dedicated to Nehemia’s faithful canine companion, Georgia the Rhodesian Ridgeback, who sadly passed away the day of this recording. In her honor, the trio has a fascinating discussion on the character of Caleb and the nature of canine loyalty. They also discuss Moses' father-in-law, Jethro, and challenge the common understanding of the process of Mosaic revelation. This leads to a powerful discussion of the events at Mt. Sinai and culminates in a powerful reading of the Ten Matters that will bring you to your feet. The closing music of this program was specially written in honor of Georgia. It features Yoel ben Shlomo on didgeridoo and Jono Vandor on guitar, and is entitled “Memories of Georgia”. May we all display the faithfulness of Yehovah’s servant, Caleb.

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19 thoughts on “Torah Pearls #17 – Yitro (Exodus 18:1-20:23)

  1. Nehemia,

    A little off topic, but have you ever questioned the difference in the accounts of Creation between Genesis 1 and Genesis 2? Oddly, throughout all of chapter 1, the Creator was only God, (Elohim,) that was doing all the creating. Then in Genesis 2, These are the generations of the heaven and the earth in the day that Yehovah God created them. Then through the fall and being kicked out of Eden, all references are towards Yehovah, or Yehovah God. I’m not saying it was, but it’s almost as if there are two separate creations, different accounts when one reads them noting specifically who was doing the creating. I question, because I seek 100% truth, and it just seems strange that His name got longer in chapter 2. I could understand if it was a long name in chapter 1, and Moses asked, can we shorten your name, so they did. But I don’t understand “why” His name would have gotten longer (temporariy, for a few chapters,) after which it was any of the above: God, Yehovah, Yehovah God, Lord, etc….

    It’s almost as if God, (as a family or group) created the world, the universe, etc…, then a specific, singular member of the family, made Adam,

    Any thoughts based on your in depth knowledge of the Hebrew language?.


  2. quick question–if Moses had actually “divorced” his wife (and not just “sent her back to dad’s while he went off to face Pharaoh), why does the text in v.2, 5, 6 (still) as “his wife”? Just does not quite seem to fit (in this context). thx

  3. Where do you get an eternal line for Aaron? The text says Ex 40:15 Their anointing will be to a priesthood that will continue throughout their generations.”

    It does not say “forever” unless the Hebrew speaks otherwise. Does the Hebrew say differently?

    My point is that the Levites were chosen because of sin but the intention was for a priesthood of believers….no king or human intermediary. YHVH, Himself, would be the “levite” (used as a verb) just as He would be the redeemer, the savior, etc.

    In fact, doesn’t Jeremiah 31 prove that the role of a levite is going to be finished?

  4. Another great Torah portion, thank you. I’m looking forward to the Deuteronomy 5 study. When leaving Christianity to follow Torah this was the passage that my family quoted to me, before ostracising me, specifically this verse…*[[Deu 5:22]] KJV* These words the LORD spake unto all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice: and he added no more. And he wrote them in two tables of stone, and delivered them unto me….Yehovah added no more. Needless to say, I didn’t see things the same, or we wouldn’t have 5 books of instructions.

    Shalom 🙂

  5. The sadness of the loss of our dogs will soon be replaced with the gratefulness and appreciation of memories of them in our lives; Yehovah’s gift to us.

  6. Nehemia…

    I lost my 20 year old miniature dachshund last May, and it makes me weep even now to write this. I’m truly sorry for your loss. I guess this was a couple of years ago for you now…but I’m only just learning about it. Thank you for these Torah portions. Shalom

  7. The Creator of the Universe teaches us how to love by way of His handiwork as narrated so well by the prophet Nathan in 2 Samuel 12:3

    …..”but the poor man had nothing save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and reared; and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own morsel, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter.”

    Looking into the eyes of a beloved pet and seeing the gratitude and affection they project towards you is like seeing the gleam in our Father’s eye.

  8. The comment that Caleb was a Gentile because he was Kenizzite confuses me a little. Many thoughts come to mind… Kenaz is named as a descendant of Esau, yet in Genesis 15:19 the Kenizzites existed in the days of Abraham. How can this be? Also, is Jephunneh a Hebrew name? Is it possible that there were two men named Kenaz at different points in history, because the families are so closely related? Caleb conquered a city of giants, the Anakim, so if he, as some commentaries say, took his own families land for Israel, he would have been a giant as well and scripture does not indicate this? Nehemia, can you please give a brief overview of the reasons for thinking there is only one Kenaz and that Caleb and Othniel at some point joined Israel in their wanderings and were adopted into Judah? Thanks!

    • The linking of Caleb to the Kenizzite people is tenuous, I think. It may be the right interpretation, but it may also be a case of interpreting to match a theology. There is another argument (just as sound, or (in my opinion) more sound) that says that “Kenizzite” (which means “hunter”) was being used here as a description/title rather than a people group.

      This is somewhat similar to applying “Maccabee” as a family name to Mattathias and his descendants, when Maccabee was apparently a nickname/title for Mattathias’ son Judah “the hammer” (maccabee is usually considered to be an Aramaic word meaning “hammer”, although there are other interesting alternate explanations).

  9. Nehemiah, it is your heart-felt sorrows for losing your beloved Georgia and other personal things that befell you that attracted me to follow your Torah sharing. I lost my dog Rexena recently, too. They are God’s beautiful gifts to us. I am in awe of Jehovah for His awesome work in you and your depth of understanding the Bible. I pray you keep close to Baruch HaShem, for your studies are not falling on deaf ears of us who have ears, we can rejoice greatly with your swimming to the depths and back up for distributing the pearls to us who hunger and treasure His Name above all names with holy holy holy reverence in our spirits, now and forever! Can I have an AMEN!!!!

  10. Nehemia, I highly recommend a female Chihuahua at this point. Chihuahuas are excellent exploration companions; not only are they small, but also they love to travel and wander and explore wherever you go. And females will not mark in the same way that males will.

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