Selected Sermon/Article
2010-02-05 Beyond Twelve Gates (BTG) by Rabbi Zeev Smason
Parshas Yisro
Beyond Twelve Gates Parshas Yisro February 5, 2010

Beyond Twelve Gates     Parshas Yisro        February 5, 2010


Welcome to Beyond Twelve Gates.  Guess what I found for you -- a message from G-d!


To:               YOU
Date:            TODAY
From:           G-D
Subject:        YOURSELF
Reference:    LIFE


Long time no speak. This is G-d. Remember me? I just wanted you to know that today I will be handling all of your problems for you. I do not need your help. I've gotten pretty good at it..
Now, you have a nice day.
Love always,

P.S.  And, remember...
If life happens to deliver a situation to you that you cannot handle, you do not have to worry about attempting to resolve it yourself.  Kindly put it in the SFGTD (something for G-d to do) box.. Once the matter is placed into the box, do not hold onto it by worrying about it. I will get to it in MY TIME.  All situations will be resolved, but in My time, not yours. Yes, I know you think that you have deadlines, but I have a little pull in the universe and things generally happen around My time. It’s the way I made it. So don't worry, instead, focus on all the wonderful things that are present in your life now.


Parshas Yisro     Exodus 18:1 -- 20:23


Yisro begins with Moses' father-in-law, Yisro, arriving at the Jewish people's camp in the desert, where he is greeted warmly by a large entourage.  Yisro was inspired to join them when he heard about all of the wonders and miracles which G-d performed for the Jewish people during the exodus from Egypt.  Upon witnessing Moses serving as the people's sole judge from dawn until dusk, Yisro declares that this system will never work.  He therefore suggests that subordinate judges be appointed to adjudicate the lower cases.  Moses agrees to this plan.


The Jewish people arrive at Mt. Sinai (the mountain, not the hospital) and prepare to receive the Torah.  Moses ascends the mountain and G-d tells him to convey to the people that they will be to Him a treasure from amongst the nations.  After three days of preparation, the appointed moment of revelation finally arrives.  Amidst thunder, lightning and the sound of the shofar, G-d descends upon the mountain and proclaims -- with the entire Jewish people listening -- the Ten Commandments.  Moses then ascends the mountain to receive the remainder of the Torah from G-d, both written and oral segments.  The portion concludes with several mitzvos concerning the construction of the altar in the Temple


Rabbinic Ruminations


Kindness, or chesed, can take many forms. I'd like to share with you a beautiful story that I recently came across concerning Fiorello H. La Guardia (who was born of a Jewish mother), New York City's mayor in 1935.  You've heard of the airport -- now, learn something about the man after whom it was named!


One night La Guardia showed up in court in the poorest area of New York City and suggested the judge go home for the evening as he took over the bench. The mayor's  first case involved an elderly woman arrested for stealing bread.  When asked whether she was innocent or guilty, this soft reply was offered, "I needed the bread, Your Honor, to feed my grandchildren."  "I've no option but to punish you," La Guardia responded.   "Ten dollars or ten days in jail."


Proclaiming the sentence, he simultaneously threw $10 into his hat.  La Guardia then fined every person in the courtroom 50 cents for living in a city "where a grandmother has to steal food to feed her grandchildren."  Imagine the surprise of those in the room, who probably thought this was an open-and-shut case.  When all had contributed their 50 cents, the woman paid her fine and left the courtroom with an additional $47.50.  Let us look around -- to whom will we show a chesed like that experienced by the grandmother?


Quote of the Week


No one should see how laws or sausages are made ---  Otto von Bismarck


Joke of the Week


Mr. Popowitz is called as a witness in a trial.

"How old are you?" asks the D.A.

"I am, kaynahoreh, ninety-one."

"Excuse me? What did you say?"

"I said, I am, kaynahoreh, ninety-one years old."

"Sir, please just answer the question with no embellishments. I ask you again, How old are you!?"

"I told you. Kaynahoreh, I'm ninety-one."

The D.A. is very angry. The judge is also losing his patience. He instructs: "The witness will answer the question simply and plainly or be held in contempt of court!"

The defense lawyer, Mr. Cohen, rises and approaches the bench.

"Your Honor, I think I can resolve this. May I ask?"

"If you can get this trial moving, please, be my guest."

"Mr. Popowitz, let me ask - kaynahoreh, how old are you?"

Popowitz replies: "Ninety-one."


(note: kaynahoreh means: the evil eye should have no effect)


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