Vertluch: Parshas Yisro


As klal Yisroel advances towards Har Sinai to receive the Torah, Yisro hears about all the miracles that Hashem had performed to the yidden and decides to jump on the bandwagon. The pasuk informs us that Yisro comes to Moshe, with his wife and children, as the pasuk says ‘And her two sons, one of whom was named Gershom, because Moshe said, “I was a stranger in a foreign land. And one who was named Eliezer, because Moshe said, The God of my father came to my aid and rescued me from Pharaoh’s sword.’ (18; 3, 4)

To begin, the pasuk seems out of order chronologically.Why did Moshe feel it necessary to name his children in that order? The incident of being saved from Pharaoh’s sword occurred before he was a Ger in a foreign land.

Furthermore, why does the Torah feel the need to mention again the reasoning behind name of Gershom, being that it was already mentioned in parshas Shemos? (2, 22) The pasuk could’ve just read that Yisro approached Moshe with ‘his two sons…’ without any detail. Why did the Torah feel it important to inform us again why Moshe chose the names for his sons?
Meshech Chochma says that the reason why the Torah mentioned how Moshe selected the names was to reveal the incredible ma’aleh was on. Moshe developed such a strong kesher towards bnei Yisroel even though he barely knew them. He grew up in a palace full of luxuries and had everything he wanted at his fingertips, brought to him on a silver platter. He was not involved in the day to day enslavement of the rest of klal Yisroel. What’s more is that when Moshe eventually went to Midyan, Yisro was also a king and he continued living the high life when he settled there. Wherever he found himself, he attracted himself to a rich and famous environment even though bnei Yisroel was going through terrible hardships. Despite all this, he called himself a Ger. Why? Because all the while that bnei Yisroel were in Mitzrayim, he felt connected to Mitzrayim and considered Mitzrayim to be his home. The country that his people were in was his country. He could not celebrate his own personal salvation while knowing that klal Yisroel was suffering in Mitzrayim. Moshe couldn’t name his first son Eliezer (with the reasoning of ‘The God of my father came to my aid and rescued me from Pharaoh’s sword’) while knowing and feeling the travesties that klal Yisroel were enduring. The initial thought and feeling that Moshe had, was the suffering of his nation and how he longed to be amongst them.

It is for this reason, despite being in Midyan for a long period of time, that he always had Mitzrayim on his mind. He couldn’t consider himself a Midyan guy while his people were in Mitzrayim.

We learn from this here how a person has to be able to feel for another Yid. Just because it’s not happening to ‘me’ doesn’t give us the right to ignore someone else’s hardships. We have to strive to continuously try to feel and share in other people’s misfortunes. Just as Moshe always considered himself a stranger because his beloved people were enslaved and going through terrible hardships.

May we all be zoche to feel for our fellow Yid until the achdus is so strong that there is nothing holding back the coming of Moshiach, b’karov.