Yitro — Exodus 18:1-20:23, The Parashat Hashavua for Saturday, January 26, 2019

We call the Torah, Etz Chayim, The Tree of Life. It is the central core of Jewish life and value. This week we read the story of the the giving of Torah at Sinai.

We are reminded that Torah was given in the middle of the wilderness, at Mt. Sinai, to all of Israel. Rabenu Bachaye (Spain 14th Century) wrote that the Torah was given with three elements: fire, water and the desert. First, these three elements are available to all for free just as Torah is available to all who desire it. Second, water and fire sustain life, just as Torah sustains life. Third, Torah was given in the desert because the desert is wide open and free. This teaches us that if we want Torah we must be open to it and free ourselves to receive it.