top of page

Yitro's Advice to Moshe

וַֽיְהִי֙ מִמָּ֣חֳרָ֔ת וַיֵּ֥שֶׁב משֶׁ֖ה לִשְׁפֹּ֣ט אֶת־הָעָ֑ם וַיַּֽעֲמֹ֤ד הָעָם֙ עַל־משֶׁ֔ה מִן־הַבֹּ֖קֶר עַד־הָעָֽרֶב:

It came about on the next day that Moses sat down to judge the people, and the people stood before Moses from the morning until the evening.

Yitro, the father-in-law of Moshe, observed Moshe judging the people from morning until evening and realized that this approach was unsustainable. Yitro offered him advice, suggesting that he appoint wise and God-fearing leaders to assist him in the task of judging the people. Yitro recognized that Moshe could not handle the burden of judging the entire nation alone and advised him to delegate the responsibilities to others.

Midrash teaches that Yitro's advice was not just practical, but also divinely inspired. According to the Midrash, God appeared to Yitro in a dream and instructed him to advise Moshe in this manner. The Midrash emphasizes the importance of seeking wise counsel and the benefits that come from delegation and division of labor.

Another commentary points out that Yitro's advice was a lesson in humility. Moshe, as a leader, needed to recognize that he could not handle everything on his own and needed to delegate responsibilities to others. By following Yitro's advice, Moshe demonstrated his humility and willingness to accept help, qualities that are essential for effective leadership.

Another aspect of Yitro's advice is the idea of selecting the right leaders. Yitro emphasized that the leaders appointed to assist Moshe must be "wise and God-fearing." This criterion was critical, as the leaders would be responsible for dispensing justice and making decisions that would impact the entire nation. By selecting leaders who were both wise and God-fearing, Moshe could ensure that the people would receive fair and just treatment.

The Midrash further expands on the significance of selecting leaders who fear God. It teaches that the leaders appointed by Moshe would serve as judges and mediators, helping to resolve disputes and bring peace to the nation. Leaders who fear God would be less likely to abuse their power and would make decisions based on what is right and just, rather than their own interests.

Another commentary focuses on the fact that Yitro's advice was not just for Moshe but for all future leaders. The advice to delegate responsibilities and seek wise counsel was meant to be a model for future leaders, reminding them that they too must be humble and seek the guidance of others. In this way, Yitro's advice has had a lasting impact on Jewish tradition and continues to shape the way leaders approach their responsibilities even today.

The advice given by Yitro to Moshe regarding judging the people is a lesson in leadership that has far-reaching implications. By delegating responsibilities, seeking wise counsel, and selecting the right leaders, Moshe was able to effectively lead the nation and ensure that justice was served. These principles continue to guide leaders today and serve as a reminder of the importance of humility, wisdom, and a fear of God in leadership.

Overall, the advice given by Yitro to Moshe highlights the importance of delegation, seeking wise counsel, and humility in leadership. These principles are timeless and still relevant today, reminding us that effective leaders are those who are willing to listen to others and delegate responsibilities to those who can help carry the burden.



Let the posts
come to you.

Thanks for submitting!

bottom of page