D’var Torah Yitro Jan.25, 2019

Yitro is known for the Ten Commandments in Ex 20:1-14.  After the commandments are given, Moses goes back to the cloud of God’s presence and receives more commandments, most of which are laid out in next week’s parasha, Mishpatim.  But one found in Yitro is “Do not ascend my altar steps that your nakedness may not be exposed upon it.”  (Ex. 20:23) This refers to the robes the priests would wear in doing their sacred work at God’s altar.  They were not to show “too much skin” out of respect to the altar.  Torah commentator Rashi states that this prohibition is to be understood as a message about treating people with respect.  He says that if we are to show respect to inanimate objects like altar stones, how much the more shall we always show respect to our fellow human beings. (Rabbi Reuven Greenvald, Reform Voices of Torah, Jan 21, 2019) In Kenosha, this week is Kindness Week, an extension Dr. Martin Luther King day.  In my sermon this Shabbat, I will be linking Rashi’s teaching to King and Kindness Week.

Rabbi D. Feingold