Yitro – February 16, 2017

D’var Torah (A bit of Torah study from Rabbi Feingold) Yitro

In this week’s parasha, BEFORE the commandments are given in an impressive theophany at Mt. Sinai, Exodus 19: 8 records that the people answered “as one” that they would do them:  “All that the Eternal One has spoken, we will do.”   It was an act of trust and imagination that enabled the Israelites to believe, before ever hearing the commandments, that they would be right and good because they came from the One who led them from slavery into freedom. The people were hopeful based on past experience and reason.  It worked out well for our ancient ancestors.  But what happens when trust and imagination based on past experience and reason leads us astray?  What happens when leaders take us down a path that diverges, at points, from our most basic Jewish values?  Many are asking these questions in these first 100 days of the new United States Administration.  The text and questions raised here will be the basis of my sermon tomorrow night at 7:30pm Shabbat services.